Thanks all for attending Tuesday’s 1/26/21 interim SNAP Coalition meeting (over 120 attendees – wow!). Big thanks to FRAC and to our state partners for important state legislative and budget campaigns. We are sending two emails today. This is the first with information on Governor Baker’s FY22 budget and the 2021/22 Legislative priorities of Coalition members Our follow up email will be chock full of additional materials shared at Tuesday’s meeting, SNAP and P-EBT updates, upcoming events and the SNAP Coalition meeting schedule for 2021.
Governor’s FY22 Budget:
Yup, the FY22 House 1 budget was released Wednesday. Here’s a link to MLRI’s Analysis of selected parts of the Governor’s House 1 budget. There are unfortunately many proposed cuts to critical safety net programs from the FY21 budget included in the Governor’s House 1 Budget, for example:
· ending July 1st the 10% cash assistance (TAFDC/EAEDC) increase - an increase in cash benefits that just started January;
· a 60% cut in HIP program - from $13M to $5M;
· a 30% cut in the MEFAP program - from $30M to $20M.
But remember this is just the first of three budgets – the House and Senate budget process is next and the revenue picture could substantially change between now and then. Do not despair, ORGANIZE! Join the campaigns below.
State Legislative Campaigns for 2021:
Thanks to all who presented on the upcoming Legislative campaigns. Here’s a summary of the bills and coalitions being formed to advocate for key safety net issues – many of whom will also be working on FY22 budget priorities:
· SNAP Gap/Common App Campaign: This legislation seeks a permanent state law change requiring the state to allow all health care applicants to apply for SNAP (last year’s campaign only included temporary language in the FY21 budget) as well as allowing all SNAP applicants to apply for DTA cash benefits and create a common application for additional means-tested programs. To join the SNAP Gap/Common App campaign and help with implementation of the FY21 budget language, contact Jamie Klufts at NASW jklufts.naswma@socialworkers.
· Hunger Free Campus campaign: This legislation creates a grant program for 2- and 4-year state colleges to take steps to address student hunger and food insecurity on campus. For more information and to join the Hunger-Free Campus Coalition, contact Molly Kepner firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura Sylvester email@example.com
· Feed Kids Coalition/School Meals for All Campaign: Feed Kids Coalition/School Meals for All Campaign: This new legislation, which will be filed next week, would address childhood hunger in our state by allowing every student who wants or needs a school breakfast or lunch to receive meals at no cost to their family. The cost would be covered by the existing National School Lunch Program federal reimbursement combined with a supplemental state reimbursement. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org To sign up for the Feed Kids Coalition, go HERE.
· School Meal Debt Campaign: This refiled legislation calls on school districts eligible for the Community eligibility provision (CEP) to adopt it. The legislation also eliminates the reduced-price lunch and breakfast co-pays, and requires school districts to take kids out of the meal debt conversation. The legislation is intended to complement the Feed Our Kids campaign. To get updates on this campaign, contact Pat Baker, MLRI. Pbaker@mlri.org We also urge you to join the Feed Kids Coalition too!
· Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) Campaign: This refiled legislation would HIP into law permanently, a program that gives SNAP recipients extra money for fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets, farm stands, CSA's and mobile markets. The campaign is also fighting to increase HIP in the state's budget each fiscal year, last year securing $13 million in FY21. Sign up for the Campaign for HIP funding HERE. For more information, go https://mafoodsystem.org/
· Lift Our Kids Campaign: This legislation will raise cash assistance grants by 20% a year until the maximum grant reaches half the federal poverty level -- currently $915/month for a family of three. For information about Lift Our Kids and to sign up, checkout the campaign webpage here www.liftourkidsma.com or contact Deborah Harris email@example.com or Naomi Meyer firstname.lastname@example.org
NEXT STEPS: As soon as we have the “Docket Numbers” for these bills, we will let you know so that you can ask your House and Senate member to co-sponsor these bills The bill filing deadline is February 19th. Deadline for co-sponsors to sign onto bills on the House side is February 26th. Senate side is more open, but we urge you to ask your Senators to sign on early.