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MLRI Statement re Verdict in the Trial of Derek Chauvin; FY22 Budget Amendments needing Coalition advocacy

First, we wanted to take a moment to share with you MLRI’s statement regarding yesterday’s guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin. We join with our colleagues in expressing our grief, relief and commitment to our work to combat racism and injustice in MA and the nation.   View the statement below.

Second, below are three additional budget amendments in addition to the three amendments we flagged for you last week (and attached are fact sheets for the second three).  We urge SNAP Coalition members to help us get as many House members to sign onto ALL of these amendments.

Recently flagged Coalition member amendments:

  • Amendment #164: Mass in Motion (Filed by Rep. Sabadosa). The Department of Public Health operates this innovative program, supporting municipal networks in implementing policy and practices to lower the risk of preventable chronic diseases by promoting opportunities for healthy and affordable food access, as well as increasing physical activity. This increase in funding would allow the program to expand to reach more communities that have expressed interest in participating.
  • Amendment #324: Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit for low- and moderate-income working people that supports financial stability, encourages and rewards work as well as offsets federal payroll and income taxes. The Massachusetts EITC works as a complement to the federal EITC, currently matching 30 percent of the federal credit. Increasing the match rate of the MA EITC to 50% of the federal credit would improve the financial wellbeing of more than 400,000 Massachusetts households.
  • Amendment #348: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Access. Immigrants who file taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) are currently ineligible from receiving the EITC, despite paying the same share of income taxes as those with Social Security Numbers. These families are also often excluded from additional income assistance programs. By expanding access to the EITC for ITIN filers, these households would become better able to meet their financial needs.

SNAP Gap, school meals and cash amendments:

  • Amendment #41, Closing the SNAP Gap: Filed by Rep Jay Livingstone extends the line item language secured in the FY2021 budget that requires EOHHS to let Medicaid and Medicare Savings Program applicants apply for SNAP at the same time.  (The FY21 budget was 5.5 months late due to COVID).  This amendment keeps the pressure under the Baker Administration to finish the job!  This is a cost-neutral amendment, the Baker Administration says that money is not the issue.  
  • Amendment #424, School Nutrition: Filed by Rep Andy Vargas (lead sponsor of the Feed Kids legislation), this cost-neutral amendment would require school districts that are eligible to adopt the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) do so in School Year 2021/22 and subsequent years (if USDA does not extend free school meals next year). Given the 25% growth in the SNAP caseload, many more school districts should qualify for CEP.  

·         Amendment #83, Lift our Kids:  Filed by Rep. Decker, this amendment would increase TAFDC and EAEDC by 20% for 26,000 families with children and 20,000 elders and persons with disabilities. Even with the historic 10% grant increase that took effect in January 2021, cash assistance grants are still far too low to meet families' basic needs.  The maximum TAFDC grant for a family of 3 is only $652/month.  For an elder or disabled individual, the maximum EAEDC grant is just $334/month.  There is sufficient funding in the TAFDC line item to cover the TAFDC grant increase. Boosting the EAEDC grant will require an additional $15.1M.  

NEXT SNAP Coalition Meeting is Tuesday, April 27th from 10 to 11:30. 


Statement of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) Regarding Verdict in Trial of Derek Chauvin
Boston, Mass. – The outcome of this trial – guilty on all counts - brings some measure of justice to the family of George Floyd, and relief to the community in Minneapolis, to Black and brown communities across the nation, and to all people of conscience.

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute applauds the state prosecutors for making a strong case and the jury for their verdict.  But the truth is that George Floyd should be alive today. His life mattered, he mattered. His agonizing death was the outcome of systemic racism in our nation that has devalued the humanity of Black people for 400 years. The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute pledges to continue our work to combat racism and injustice and to ensure that our Commonwealth and our nation treats Black and brown people with dignity, and that as a society we promote equity along with justice.

In solidarity,

Georgia Katsoulomitis, Executive Director

Virginia Benzan, Director, MLRI Racial Equity & Justice Project


File Attachment: