The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

State TANF Agencies Can Help Connect TANF Households With Federal Economic Impact Payments

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 4:33pm

These payments can provide a lifeline to families whose low TANF benefits may be their only source of income.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

State SNAP Agencies Can Help Connect SNAP Households With Federal Economic Impact Payments

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 3:20pm

State and local SNAP agencies can play a vital role in informing program participants of the availability of the cash payment and connecting them to resources to secure these payments.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Expansion’s Coverage Gains Won’t Hurt State Budgets, Even in Recession

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 10:59am

With Oklahoma and Missouri voters deciding this summer whether their states will extend Medicaid to a combined 600,000 people by adopting the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion, opponents are again falsely claiming that states can’t afford the expansion, warning that the COVID-19 pandemic and recession will drive enrollment h

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Rising Food Prices Means Rising Need for Aid

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 10:47am

People are paying higher prices for groceries during the pandemic, including a nearly 50-year record rise in April, jeopardizing the food security of millions of households already reeling from job and income losses.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

3 Reasons Why States Should Tap Rainy Day Funds Now

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 11:32am

The grim outlook for state economies over the next year will be even grimmer if states don’t fully use an important tool: their rainy day funds. Doing so can help lessen COVID-19’s health and economic harm and help states focus their responses on the hardest-hit people and communities — including those facing persistent racial, gender, and economic inequities — and achieve an equitable recovery that extends to all people.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Research Note: Number of People in Families With Below-Poverty Earnings Has Soared, Especially Among Black and Latino Individuals

Tue, 06/16/2020 - 12:23pm

About 75 million non-elderly individuals lived in families with combined weekly earnings below the poverty line in May, CBPP analysis of new Census Bureau data shows — far above the pre-pandemic (February) level of roughly 60 million, though below the April figure of about 80 million. (See Figure 1 and Table 1.)

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

To Support Education, Congress Should Provide Substantial Fiscal Relief to States and Localities

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 11:28am

Testimony of Michael Leachman, Vice President for State Fiscal Policy, Before the House Committee on Education and Labor

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

States Continue to Face Large Shortfalls Due to COVID-19 Effects

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 10:44am

We now project that the state budget shortfalls expected from COVID-19’s economic fallout will total a cumulative $615 billion over the current state fiscal year.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

In Case You Missed It...

Fri, 06/12/2020 - 3:24pm

Last week, we released a statement from our president, Robert Greenstein, adding CBPP’s voice to calls for justice and systemic reform in response to the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and subsequent protests for Black lives. Greenstein stated, in part:

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Proposal to Extend Full Expensing Beyond 2022 Could Discourage Investment This Year and Hurt the Recovery

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 3:43pm

Making full expensing permanent would have no effect until 2023 and hence do nothing to help mitigate the current economic downturn.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

SSA Needs More Funding to Support Essential Services

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 11:36am

As policymakers turn to 2021 appropriations to fund the government, they should ensure that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has enough funds to meet daunting workloads that have become even more challenging during the COVID-19 crisis.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Commentary: Needs of Younger Generations Argue for Further Fiscal Relief and Stimulus, Not Inaction

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 11:15am

Shortchanging the immediate substantial needs of the economy in the name of younger generations would be shortsighted and even self-defeating.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Medicaid Needs Direct Funding to Providers and More Federal Funds for States

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 2:47pm

Many health care providers serving Medicaid enrollees are struggling due to lower revenue from patient visits and higher costs for personal protective equipment and other pandemic-related measures. Many Medicaid providers should soon receive help from a $175 billion provider relief fund in the CARES Act of March.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

The Rent Is Still Due: America’s Renters, COVID-19, and an Unprecedented Eviction Crisis

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 11:01am

As a nation we must pursue racial justice and equity, and housing justice must be a part of the discussion because systemic racism also results in homelessness, housing instability, and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Remaining 8 States Should Help Families Losing School Meals

Wed, 06/10/2020 - 10:20am

A staggering 1 in 3 families with children say they don’t have enough food, and that’s in part because schools where lots of children normally eat free or reduced-price meals are closed.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

CARES Act Measures Strengthening Unemployment Insurance Should Continue While Need Remains

Tue, 06/09/2020 - 10:18am

If policymakers don’t act to extend benefits, the CARES Act’s boost in benefit levels will expire on July 31 and its eligibility expansions and additional weeks of benefits will expire on December 31.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Fighting Hunger at the Store: Retailers’ Important Role in SNAP

Fri, 06/05/2020 - 9:18am

SNAP (food stamps), the nation’s primary anti-hunger program, boosts low-income households’ food purchasing power, with SNAP participants using their benefits to buy food at 248,000 stores throughout the country. Our retailer resource page highlights the important role of retailers in every state and congressional district.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty

Leveraging COVID-19 Funding to Fight Homelessness, Help Marginalized Communities

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 3:54pm

The CARES Act’s $4 billion for housing under its Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, along with its other COVID-19 relief, can go far in serving people experiencing or at risk of homelessness during this crisis. But how far it goes depends on any steps that states and communities take to not only address the current crisis but correct longstanding inequities that perpetuate homelessness, particularly among people of color.

Categories: Benefits, Poverty


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