MLRI analysis of FY20 SWM Budget; Action Needed on SNAP Gap and Hip !!
SWM Budget analysis: MLRI's housing, health care, benefits, child welfare advocates have joined forces to prepare our analysis of the Senate Ways and Means FY20 Budget, Senate Bill #3. https://www.
Top nutrition budget amendments: The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) funding level fell short with only $6.5 million included - $2 million less than what is needed to sustain the program year-round. The SWM budget also lacked language that would help direct the Executive Office of Health and Human Services to close the SNAP Gap. (Tnx to Kristina Kimani for drafting much of this email!)
- Senator Sal DiDomenico is filing an amendment to pilot closing the SNAP Gap (fact sheet attached)
- Senator Gob is filing an amendment to see year-round funding for the Healthy Incentives program (see script below).
We need your help in two ways:
- Contact Your State Senator. Email or call your Senator (including all the Senators who represent the region that you serve and your own state Senator) and ask them to co-sponsor amendments for the SNAP gap and HIP.
- Spread the Word! Forward this message to your networks and share on social media. Let your colleagues, friends and family know.
Tools you can use to urge support for these amendments:
1. How to Identify your State Senator(s)
- To find out WHO your state Senator is, go to https://malegislature.gov/
- For your Senator’s CONTACT info, visit https://malegislature.
2. Sample Phone Script
Ask to speak to a legislative aide for your Senator.
- Hello, my name is [Your Name]. I am a constituent from [Your Town]. –OR— I work for [Your Organization] and we serve many residents in the Senator’s district.
- I am calling to ask the Senator to please co-sponsor the HIP Amendment by Senator Gobi for the continuation and expansion of the Healthy Incentives Program. It’s important that we get the HIP amendment included because HIP provides some of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable families with access to fresh, healthy, local foods, and helps to sustain Massachusetts farms by increasing their sales. This amendment will allow HIP to operate year-round, allow for continued growth in participation, and will fill geographic gaps in the program.
- I’d also like to ask the Rep’s support to please co-sponsor the SNAP Gap Amendment by Senator DiDomenico. The SNAP Gap amendment language would require EOHHS to launch a pilot allowing both MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program applicants with very low income to file an application for SNAP at the same time as their health care application. It would require the state to inform the legislature what it would cost to create common application process for all low income households.
- The Healthy Incentive Program and closing the SNAP Gap is important to me/my community because [say in a few sentences why you care about HIP/SNAP Gap and how they affect your community.]
- Can we count on the Senator’s support? Thank you very much for your time.
3. Sample Email Script
Dear [Your Senator’s Name]:
My name is [Your Name]. I am a constituent from [Your Town]. –OR— I work for [Your Organization] and we serve many residents in the Senator’s district. I am writing to ask you to please co-sponsor the SNAP Gap Amendment by Senator DiDomenico and the HIP Amendment by Senator Gobi and.
We must address the issue of access and affordability of healthy, local food by including the Healthy Incentives Program funding amendment and the SNAP Gap language amendment. SNAP and HIP are important to me/my community because [say in a few sentences why you care about the Healthy Incentives Program/Closing the SNAP Gap and how it/they affect your community.]
I hope I can count on your support. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thank you very much for your time.
[Your Name, Organization, and Contact Info]