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Federal and State "public charge" guidance updated; Language access bill moves forward!

Happy Friday. A number of updates to end the week. Our next SNAP Coalition zoom meeting will be Tuesday, June 28 at 10 AM


In the meantime, please consider sharing recommendations/testimony for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health - testimony is due by July 15!  And look out for an eblast next week re an upcoming Listening Session on June 27th for persons in MA with lived expertise. 

Public Charge Updates: New resources from USCIS 

USCIS guidance: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently updated its public charge resources webpage with a helpful Q&A section designed to clarify current policy and reduce the chilling effect. 

  • USCIS notes who is subject to and exempt from a “public charge” determination and which benefits are and are not considered in a public charge determination. 

  • USCIS and USDA - and DTA - have been clear: It is safe for non-citizens who are not eligible for SNAP to apply for SNAP on behalf of eligible family members (like US Citizen children). And it is safe for non-citizens who are eligible for SNAP to get SNAP!   

  • Please continue to encourage low-income families to apply for SNAP and reinforce that it is safe to receive the benefits for which they or their family members are eligible. 


EOHHS guidance: And as a reminder, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) website also keeps updated information on public charge - in English and Spanish. EOHHS links to the above federal USDA and USCIS guidance encouraging families to apply for SNAP and other critical safety net benefits for which they are eligible.. 


MA Language Access Legislation Moves forward!  


The MA Language Access Coalition has great news. An Act Relative to Language Access and Inclusion (now H.4872 and S.2929) has officially been reported favorably out to Ways and Means. This is significant because it can often take a few sessions for first time bills to move.  The goal is to now get the bill to the floor for a vote. 


The Coalition (comprised of MLRI, MIRA Coalition, Justice Center of SE Mass, Mass Appleseed and hundreds of endorsing orgs) urges folks to:

  • Take a one-minute action to reach your legislators and urge them to speak to leadership in support of moving the bill forward.

  • Use this social media toolkit with sample posts and graphics to thank our lead sponsors and the Joint Committee on State Admin and Regulatory Oversight for reporting the bill favorably!