The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

MLRI Analysis of FY18 Senate Ways and Means Budget: Common App language included! Amendments being filed on HIP, Food Trust and Family Cap.

Attached is MLRI's analysis of the FY18 Senate Ways and Means Budget, selected sections of the budget impacting low income households in the areas of DTA benefits, housing, health care, child care etc. Call us if questions or corrections.

SNAP Gap/Common App Update: Good news !!

Senate Ways and Means created a NEW line item 4000-0328 with $100K, specific language and a deadline (March 2018) for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) take a number of important steps toward integrated eligibility. The line item language requires EOHHS to produce a plan identifying the estimated capital and operating resources to implement an integrated eligibility determination process that includes the Departments of Medicaid, Transitional Assistance (DTA), Early Education and Care (DEED), Housing and Community Development (DHCD) other states agencies. The line item language also requires "interim solutions" for integration between DTA and Medicaid including prioritizing efforts by DTA and Medicaid to create a common application for MassHealth and SNAP. The $100K appropriation is small and intended for a number of tasks, but it nonetheless represents an important step in closing the SNAP Gap.  Big thanks to Senate Ways and Means for this line item and language. No SNAP Gap amendment is being filed in the Senate. 

Important budget amendments being filed of interest to SNAP Coalition Members:

  • Healthy Incentives Program: Senator Anne Gobi is introducing an amendment that would provide necessary matching funds for operation of the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). The amendment will provide slightly more than $1.7 million in program costs for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which provides matching funds to incentivize SNAP recipients’ purchases at farmers markets, farm stands, CSAs, and mobile markets. This funding will allow the State to leverage a $3.4 million grant from USDA.

  • Mass Food Trust: Senator Eileen Donoghue has filed an amendment to include $100,000 for the operating expenses of the Massachusetts Food Trust in the FY18 operating budget.As you heard last week, the Governor has included in his Capital Investment plan $1 million for the Massachusetts Food Trust. These are capital dollars which will be dispersed this year in the form of loans and grants to new and expanding healthy food retailers and local food enterprises. To make this program a reality, and to leverage the $1 million in capital seed funding, it is essential to secure the necessary funds to operate and administer the Massachusetts Food Trust. See attached fact sheet.

  • Lift the TAFDC Family Cap:: Senator Joan Lovely is filing an amendment that would end the punitive "family cap" on children denied critical TAFDC benefits. See attached fact sheet for more. 

All of these amendments need co-sponsors. If you're not sure who your state Senator is, go to https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator 

DEADLINE for getting Senators to sign on is 5 PM tomorrow, but do not wait til the last minute to call your Senator!  Debate on the budget starts next week. If your organization is working on other amendments of interest to the SNAP Coalition, let us know.  

 

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