Lawmakers look to trim ‘safety net,’ plug deficit

With a $550 million shortfall in the current budget, and a $5 billion hole to fill in the next biennium, Washington state is targeting programs that are a huge cost to the state, such as the Basic Health Plan and Disability Lifeline. In the latest round of cuts passed by the House and Senate and signed by the governor, the cash grant for Disability Lifeline recipients was reduced by almost 50 percent, and will likely be cut entirely in the next biennial budget. Disability Lifeline provides medical benefits and a cash grant – now down to $174 a month – to disabled adults who don’t qualify for benefits under any other program. All told, the program costs the state $224 million per biennium.

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