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MLRI and La Colaborativa join forces on a 2023 Campaign: State Food and Cash Benefits for Federally Ineligible Immigrants

As 2023 winds down, I am writing to share with you that MLRI and La Colaborativa in Chelsea are teaming up (with Charles Group Consulting) to launch a 2023 Legislative and FY24 Budget Campaign to restore state-funded SNAP and TAFDC cash assistance benefits to legally present but federally-ineligible immigrants. Indeed, Massachusetts provided state-funded food and cash benefits to ineligible immigrants from 1997 through 2002 after the devasting impact of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law. But those state benefits sunset in 2022.  

With the growing number of new arrivals coupled with the devastating impact of Covid on the immigrant community, we hope to secure state-funded benefits for immigrant households in need in 2023.  At the same time, we will also continue to push for Congress to pass the LIFT the BAR Act, which will be refiled in 2023, although that may be an uphill battle with the new House. 

If you would like to join the Coalition and help with this campaign, please fill out this Google Doc HERE.  We will keep you posted on when we are meeting in January and next steps. 

The Coalition does NOT have a name yet (we welcome suggestions), and we will work on drafting a bill to secure Legislative sponsors and support for this initiative.  So, you are joining the campaign at the starting gate. Welcome!

MLRI and La Colaborativa

 

P. S. Common App Update: MLRI will also continue to work with the Common Apps Campaign in 2023 and keep you posted with updates. Here’s two quick updates: 

·         We are closely monitoring the SNAP Gap “checkbox” applications closely. DTA is now receiving over 5,000 SNAP apps from MassHealth each month. We have made recommendations to DTA and EOHHS on ways to improve the SNAP approval rate of those SNAP Checkbox Apps.  

·         The Common Apps Coalition recently shared core recommendations with the Healey/Driscoll Transition Team. EOHHS told us they are creating a new staff position within EOHHS to work on the Common App.  We will ask for a meeting with the new EOHHS Secretary once that person is announced.  So - stay tuned!