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Benefits

More State Lawmakers Should Consider How Racism Shapes Tax Policy

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/23/2021 - 11:34am
State lawmakers nationwide can learn from the Oregon House Revenue Committee’s efforts to understand and account for the effects of racism on the state’s revenue-raising system. In February the committee held a hearing, convened by the legislature’s Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus, examining Oregon tax policy through a racial equity lens, the ways in which the state’s revenue system harms communities of color, and what can be done to repair that harm. State fiscal policy choices about how much revenue to raise and from whom to collect it are critical decisions that can
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan Act Strengthens Medicaid, Better Equips States to Combat the Pandemic

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 03/22/2021 - 1:11pm
The American Rescue Plan Act gives states an additional financial incentive to expand Medicaid, strengthens coverage for current enrollees, and helps states weather the COVID-19 public health and economic crises.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/19/2021 - 4:33pm
This week at CBPP, we focused on health, state budgets and taxes, poverty and inequality, the economy, and food assistance. On health, Anna Bailey, Kyle Hayes, Hannah Katch, and Judith Solomon demonstrated that Medicaid is key to building a system of comprehensive substance use care for low-income people. Bailey further explained how states can use the American Rescue Plan Act’s Medicaid funding to strengthen substance use care. Javier Balmaceda argued that territories’ looming Medicaid funding “cliff” highlights the need for full, permanent Medicaid funding. On state budgets and taxes
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Is Key to Building a System of Comprehensive Substance Use Care for Low-Income People

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/18/2021 - 2:53pm
Robust and reliable funding for substance use disorder services is essential for closing the treatment gap, where fewer than 13 percent of the 21 million-plus people who need substance use services get any.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Can Use Rescue Plan’s Medicaid Funding to Strengthen Substance Use Care

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/18/2021 - 10:00am
Medicaid is key to building a system of care in which people with substance use disorders (SUD) get the care they need, regardless of income or race, as our new paper explains. And the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act gives states more resources to make Medicaid’s role in funding an equitable SUD system of care even stronger. Medicaid can cover a range of SUD treatment and recovery supports, but most states fail to cover the full range, and 14 have yet to implement the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion making the program’s coverage available to low-income adults. This has
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Territories’ Looming Medicaid “Cliff” Highlights Need for Full, Permanent Funding

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/16/2021 - 1:02pm
U.S. territories face yet another sharp drop in federal Medicaid funding this September when a temporary federal funding boost is set to expire, and the stakes are even higher this time due to COVID-19’s health and economic crises. Without more federal funding, hundreds of thousands of Americans living in Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) risk losing access to health care. This latest funding “cliff” again highlights the territories’ need for adequate funding to avoid major disruptions to their health
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan Act Includes Much-Needed K-12 Funding

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Mon, 03/15/2021 - 10:45am
American schools sorely need additional funding to ensure that they can reopen safely and meet students’ educational needs, and the American Rescue Plan Act provides $123 billion in new, flexible funds for school districts that they can spend over the next three-and-a-half school years — the largest-ever one-time federal investment in K-12 education.The American Rescue Plan Act provides $123 billion in new, flexible funds for school districts that they can spend over the next three-and-a-half school years — the largest-ever one-time federal investment in K-12 education. The Act, which provides
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/12/2021 - 4:15pm
CBPP’s main focus this week was enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act. We released an overview of several key parts of the Act as well as reports covering specific policy areas: Federal taxes: Chuck Marr, Kris Cox, Stephanie Hingtgen, Katie Windham, and Arloc Sherman examined the Act’s critical expansions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. Housing: Douglas Rice and Ann Olivia outlined how the Act’s housing assistance provisions will prevent millions of evictions and help people experiencing homelessness. Health: Tara Straw, Sarah Lueck, Hannah Katch, Judith Solomon, Matt
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rescue Act Extends Unemployment Benefit Programs That Help Millions of Unemployed Workers and Their Families

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/12/2021 - 3:45pm
The American Rescue Plan Act extends, through September 6, critical unemployment benefit provisions that help unemployed people pay their bills and care for their families. The Act extends provisions of the December relief package that were scheduled to expire this month. These measures include continuing the $300-per-week federal supplement to weekly benefits, providing enough additional weeks of federally funded benefits to ensure that jobless workers will continue to receive benefits while the nation is still struggling with COVID-19 and its economic fallout, and continuing the Pandemic
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan Act Includes Critical Expansions of Child Tax Credit and EITC

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/12/2021 - 3:22pm
Making the full Child Tax Credit available to all children except those with the highest incomes and making an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit available to far more low-paid workers will result in historic reductions of child poverty and provide timely income support for millions of people.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Food Assistance in American Rescue Plan Act Will Reduce Hardship, Provide Economic Stimulus

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Fri, 03/12/2021 - 1:56pm
The American Rescue Plan Act includes $12 billion in key investments to food assistance programs to mitigate the nation’s extraordinarily high levels of hunger and hardship.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rescue Act’s Pandemic Emergency Assistance Will Help Families With Lowest Income

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 4:43pm
The American Rescue Plan Act includes a new $1 billion Pandemic Emergency Assistance fund for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The new funding will provide much-needed resources to states, tribes, and territories (referred to here as states) to help families with the lowest incomes meet their added expenses or debt due to the pandemic. With the pandemic’s economic fallout continuing to impose widespread hardship, this funding can play a critical role in helping households with children weather the storm. Hardship is particularly high among families with children, the
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

An Agenda for the Future of Public Housing

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 4:17pm
Public housing can deliver major benefits to the people it serves, not only helping them keep a roof over their heads but also potentially acting as a platform for services that improve other aspects of their lives and contributing to reinvestment and improved conditions in surrounding neighborhoods.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rescue Plan Protects Against Using Federal Dollars to Cut State Taxes

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 3:51pm
The American Rescue Plan Act includes an important and novel provision: for every dollar that a state government spends on net tax cuts, it will lose a dollar of the federal fiscal aid it receives from the Act’s Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. That’s sound policy. Recessions are a terrible time for state tax cuts. Typically, the benefits of a tax cut go to people and to corporations that don’t need them. That’s the wrong approach when many working families continue to face serious economic hardship. Worse, every dollar in state tax cuts is a dollar not available for public services
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Health Provisions in American Rescue Plan Act Improve Access to Health Coverage During COVID Crisis

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 2:13pm
The American Rescue Plan Act includes several vital provisions that would make comprehensive coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of people.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Housing Assistance in American Rescue Plan Act Will Prevent Millions of Evictions, Help People Experiencing Homelessness

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 10:32am
The American Rescue Plan Act includes substantial aid for millions of people who are struggling to pay their rent and avoid eviction, as well as badly needed resources to help communities address homelessness during the pandemic. The COVID-related economic downturn continues to force millions of renters and their families to make tough choices between paying the rent and paying for heating, food, and other essentials. Nearly 1 in 5 adult renters — some 13.5 million adults — recently reported that they are not caught up on their rent payments, according to the latest Census Pulse survey, and
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

An Agenda for the Future of Public Housing

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Thu, 03/11/2021 - 9:39am
Public housing can deliver major benefits to the people it serves, not only helping them keep a roof over their heads but also potentially acting as a platform for services that improve other aspects of their lives and contributing to reinvestment and improved conditions in surrounding neighborhoods.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan Act Will Help Millions and Bolster the Economy

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 03/10/2021 - 3:05pm
The American Rescue Plan Act, which Congress has passed and President Biden is expected to sign on March 12, will provide needed help to tens of millions of people, reduce high levels of hardship, help school districts address student learning loss, and bolster the economy.
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

American Rescue Plan Act Will Help Restore Children’s Well-Being After Year of Widespread Hardship

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wed, 03/10/2021 - 1:34pm
The American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden is expected to sign shortly, will bring welcome relief as Census Bureau data released today still show millions struggling to meet their basic needs a full year into the public health and economic crisis. The relief package will help reduce this hardship and begin to restore children’s well-being and prospects for success, which the crisis has placed at risk of long-term damage. The relief package extends critical unemployment benefits that are helping jobless workers pay their bills and care for their families, extends and expands nutrition
Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Should Strengthen EITCs To Respond To COVID

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Tue, 03/09/2021 - 12:48pm
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have caused significant hardship for people already struggling to make ends meet. States should provide timely support for families that have lost jobs and income during the pandemic, including enacting and expanding state earned income tax credits (EITCs) to help families thrive now and in the future, as we describe in a new paper. The hardship caused by COVID-19 has hit hardest people who are paid low wages. Not only have these individuals been more likely to lose jobs and income due to COVID-19, but if they work as front-line, essential
Categories: Benefits, Poverty
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