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MLRI Analysis of Guv's FY18 Budget; 2017 State Bills Needing CO-SPONSORS; Recent Articles on "Cliff Effects" in MA

1. Governor's House 1 FY18 Budget Released - MLRI Analysis of the DTA, Health Care, Housing, Nutrition and Child Welfare Provisions

Hot off the press, here's our run down of key appropriations and outside sections. Please let us know if questions on specific items. 


Note that DTA's FY17 SNAP Participation Report to the MA Legislature highlights as priorities the SNAP Gap and Elder SNAP outreach work (see pg 4), so we are hoping this year's momentum with the SNAP Gap campaign will bring this to fruition.

2. Governor Proposes Cuts in FY18 Budget to TAFDC by counting SSI income of Disabled Parents

Unfortunately the Governor's FY18 budget includes a severe cut to TAFDC children raised by severely disabled parents. The Governor proposed this last year, and the House and Senate roundly rejected it. We are not sure why it has surfaced again, but we urge you to ask your Rep and Senator to NOT include this cut in their FY18 Budgets. Attached is a fact sheet for more background.

3. 2017 Bills Needing House/Senate Co-Sponsors - Deadline Friday, Feb 3rd for House

As discussed at the SNAP Coalition Meeting, there are a number of bills being filed in the new Legislative Session that need House and Senate Co-sponsors. Deadline for House members is Feb 3rd, Senators have a bit more time.

Please urge both your House and Senate Member to consider co-sponsoring the following bills:

  • SNAP Gap/Common App: Attached is our fact sheet for Rep Livingstone and Senator DiDomenicos' bill to close the SNAP gap and create a common application for other needs-based benefits. (H.D. #655, S.D.# 247)  Please contact your Rep and Senator to co-sponsor!  And have them check out their District's SNAP Gap Interactive Map HERE

  • TAFDC Cap on Kids: Attached is our fact sheet for Rep Decker and Senator DiDomenico's Bill to Lift the TAFDC Cap on Kids, know as the "Family Cap."(H.D.#1262, S.D.1762). And here's CHW's terrific fact sheet to physicians

  • EITC Increase: The Healthy Families EITC Coalition are leading the charge on increasing the EITC, lead by Rep. Decker and Senator Eldridge.(S.D.#1639,HD #1264)  Here's the CHW fact sheet.

  • Breakfast in the Classroom:Senator DiDomenico and Rep Vega are sponsoring legislation that would require schools with 60% or more free or reduced-price meal kids to implement breakfast in the classroom (after the bell, all kids eat). We do not have a fact sheet, but will keep you updated. 

  • Up to $15 campaign.  We will send on the "Raise Up Massachusetts" campaign info (increase in min wage to $15) once materials become available.

Let us know if you have other bills that SNAP Coalition Members should know about.

4. Federal Reserve's Communities and Banking Publication (Winter 2017) on Cliff Effects, Income Inequality, Investing in College and More

The Winter 2017 publication of from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has an excellent collection of articles including the "cliff effects" of loss of benefits when working, including a "Cliff Primer" by UMass Professors Randy Albelda and Michael Carr, and a SNAP cliff piece by Coalition member Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba (Children's Health Watch) on SNAP and the Cliff Effects.

Here's the full publication:

And here's a description ad link to Stephanie's article, Cliff Effects and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Despite increased income, families in the Children's HealthWatch dataset whose SNAP benefits had been reduced or cut-off were impacted across an array of areas; young children were in worse health and at risk of developmental delays, mothers were in worse health and experienced depression, and families struggled to afford food, housing, utilities and health care.  These results highlight that basic needs in the family budget do not exist in isolation - a squeeze or loss in one area has ripple effects to other needs and that SNAP plays a critical role in supporting working families.