The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

MLRI analysis of FY18 House Ways and Means Budget; Initial List of Anti-Hunger Amendments being filed

Here's MLRI's analysis of selected sections of the House Ways and Means FY18 Budget released at noon yesterday.  /content/house-ways-and-means-fy-18-budget-proposal-mlris-preliminary-analysis-selected-issues  Our analysis covers appropriations and budget language that funds cash assistance, SNAP administration, child care, health care, housing and homelessness, DCF services and Legal Services.

Amendments to the Ways and Means budget are being filed as you read this post. The DEADLINE for filing and for co-sponsors is Thursday, April 13th by 5 PM.  Debate on the House Ways and Means budget starts the week of April 24th.

  • SNAP Gap: Rep Jay Livingstone has filed Amendment #31 to close the SNAP Gap and require the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to allow MassHealth applicants and recipients to initiate a SNAP application at the same time and use common info and documents. Reps Ashe, Donohue, Ferrante, Garballey, Hecht, Khan, Scibak, Smizik and Vega had already signed on this AM.  And MORE can sign on anytime before COB on Thursday!

  • Family Cap: Rep Marjorie Decker will be filing an amendment to address the Family Cap, a cash assistance policy that excludes younger siblings from the TAFDC grant. (Amendment does not have a number yet). For more information, contact Deborah Harris at MLRI dharris@mlri.org

  • MEFAP: Rep Peter Kocut will be filing an amendment to increase the state's critical MEFAP funding from $17M to $20M. (Amendment does not have a number yet.) For more information, contact Catherine Drennan at the Greater Boston Food Bank. cdrennan@gbfb.org 

  • Mass Food Trust: Rep Donohue has filed Amendment #35 to provide $100K to administer the Food Trust program. For more information, contact Kristina StCyr at the Mass Public Health Association kstcyr@mapublichealth.org

For amendments already filed, the Rep can sign on as a co-sponsor directly through the State House LAWS portal.  For Amendments without an amendment number, the Rep needs to contact the House member to request to be added to the amendment. Either way works FINE. The MOST important step is to contact your State Rep today or tomorrow to urge co-sponsorship - by phone, email, tweet, Facebook!.

To track amendments as the debate process starts, go to: https://malegislature.gov/Budget/HouseDebate You can expect over 1,000 amendments (as is typical each year), but the traditional process in the House is where they "bundle" amendments that fall within common areas and either adopt the "consolidated" amendment, reject, have the sponsor withdraw, as well as have a vote on certain amendments.


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