The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

NOON deadline to sign on to "SNAP Gap" FY20 budget letter to Gov Baker; Trump Admin starts new assault on SNAP, anticipates 3.1M to lose SNAP!

Thanks to all who were able to attend the SNAP Coalition meeting yesterday, celebrate the FY20 Budget wins in SNAP Gap and HIP.  And special thanks to Ellen Vollinger of FRAC who gave folks an update from the front lines on federal legislation and the just proposed Trump Admin SNAP rules that would cut 3M low-income households off of SNAP.

We have some ACTION STEPS for you this AM.  

  1.  Letter to Governor Baker to support SNAP Gap initiative in FY20 Budget – org sign-ons needed by NOON today. 

We have 37 organizations currently signed onto the letter to Governor Baker, Secretary Sudders and DTA Commissioner McCue.  

We hope you will get your name onto the letter by NOON today.  Here’s the google form to fill out – just asks for your email and how you want your organization listed (no need for the name of your ED etc).   We also urge you to send TY emails, tweets etc to the House and Senate Leadership for including the SNAP Gap and $1M funding in the FY20 budget!

  1. Trump Admin proposes to cut over 3.1 million SNAP households from critical nutrition benefits – Gearing up to submit comments!

Here we are, another assault on the SNAP program from USDA  - this time an attack on low-wage working families, seniors, veterans, children, persons with disabilities – well, just about everyone.  Wonkily known as “broad-based categorical eligibility” or BBCE – the proposed change posted yesterday in the Fed Register yesterday would cut over 3.1M households nationally, basically eliminating the ability of Massachusetts – and the bulk of states - to have a higher initial gross income test and/or waive the low asset test for low income households. See USDA chart of 43 states HERE.  Massachusetts Congressman Neal joined Congressmen Scott and Peterson in a joint statement immediately condemning the proposed rules.

Under current SNAP rules, most households are subject to a 100% FPL “net income test” before SNAP benefits are provided.  The Trump Admin proposed rule would strip states of flexibility to allow working families with gross income  between 130% FPL to 200% FPL to claim any deductions for their child care or shelter costs – a HUGE cliff effect!   And It would deny SNAP to households trying to generate a small amount of assets to get out of poverty.   Remember -  Congress REJECTED efforts by the GOP to restrict state flexibility under this BBCE rule in the 2018 Farm Bill.  The Trump Admin is seeking an end run around Congress!

Attached is our infographic on the impact on working families.

Here’s statements and social media from our national partners:

MLRI will be working with our national partners and sister-state organizations to generate as many comments as possible in opposition to these federal regulations.   Please start collecting stories of who will be impacted in your community and identify local organizations that may be willing to submit comments.  MLRI will be hosting a BBCE-comment webinar in mid-August and another one in early September and will pass on info on national webiars. Stay tuned for details. 

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