The state has entered its eleventh month without a comprehensive budget. State leaders have abandoned investments that provide opportunities for women and mothers to get a good education and a good job, promote health and safety, allow children to grow and succeed, provide support for those caring for children, seniors, and those with disabilities, and foster thriving communities.
Women are disproportionally harmed by the failure of leaders to make passing a fully funded budget - one that chooses revenue over cuts to vital services - our state’s number one priority. This is due to the fact that women make far less than men for the very same work and caregiving responsibilities are far more likely to fall on their shoulders.
In recent weeks, members of the General Assembly have been working on emergency funding measures. However, partial funding bills do not give women, families, communities, and small businesses the tools and certainty they need to get ahead. Women and their families need a fully-funded budget immediately.
Continued delay in enacting a budget creates immediate and lasting barriers for women. There are also serious consequences for women over the medium and long-term if lawmakers fail to raise sustainable revenues. If unpaid bills continue to pile up, services that are currently receiving funding such as breast and cervical cancer screenings, energy assistance, and K-12 education could also be at risk in the not too distant future.
The Responsible Budget Coalition first provided an analysis of the budget impasse’s impact on women in December. This is an update of that analysis and shows a number of ways state policymakers are creating barriers for women and mothers, including:
- denying women opportunities to go to college and work,
- failing to support female caregivers,
- robbing women seniors of independence and dignity,
- endangering women’s safety,
- and increasing poverty and homelessness among women.