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April 18th Newsletter – MASSCAP

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way Forward
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MASSCAP newsletter – April 18, 2019

DID YOU KNOW: MA Facts

  • 10% Poverty Rate and 14% Child Poverty Rate in MA according to the Federal Poverty Line.  22% are "Near Poor" and 27% Children "Near Poor" in MA (up to twice federal poverty rate)
  • Most low-income families (2/3 of those in poverty) include a working adult.
  • For those not working, 3 out of 5 have small children at home or the adult has a disability.
  • Wages for low wage workers have barely grown over last 20 years while incomes for the top 1% have more than tripled.
  • 44% of Americans cannot cover a $400 unexpected expense.

More information and access the data: Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward, May 2018

Learn more!  Watch our webinar – What We All Need to Know About Poverty in Massachusetts – featuring report author, Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director, MassBudget.

POLICY MATTERS: Creating Opportunity

The state support and funding for policies and programs that create opportunity is critical.  We are advocating for policies that strengthen families, bridge the wage gap, create economic opportunity and strengthen the human services infrastructure.

Please join us in supporting these FY20 state policies and line items amendments that create opportunity:

Bridging the Wage Gap

  • Increase Resources for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Sites (1201-0100) – $800,000 – Amendment 590 by Rep. Linda Dean Campbell and Rep. Marjorie Decker
  • Expand State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to 50% of Federal – Amendment 1129 by Rep. Marjorie Decker

Strengthening Families through Affordable & Accessible Early Education and Care

  • Increase Child Care Resource Referral Access Management in Early Education Program (3000-2000) – $9.675M – Amendment 1277 by Rep. Tackey Chan

Creating a Foundation for Economic Opportunity

  • Support Services for Unaccompanied Youth Housing and Wraparound Services (4000-0007) – $5M – Amendment 883 by Rep. James O'Day

Learn more about our full list of FY20 Public Policy Priorities.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: VITA & EITC Provide Opportunity

Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP) client Jennifer was able to pay off her debt, increase her credit score and start to save by doing her taxes through the VITA program to access the EITC and maximize her refund as well as participate in SaveYourRefund.  She then continued to work with a Financial Coach at QCAP's Financial Reach Center and within a year has more than tripled her savings and boosted her credit score by +150 points.  Jennifer is now working toward home ownership.

CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION

We thank MA Legislators and Governor Baker for supporting the need for the Supplemental Fuel Assistance allocation and for working together for a solution that moves us forward and helps our vulnerable friends and neighbors in need – read our statement.

Visit heatinghelpma.org for more information about fuel assistance and the agency serving your area.

We urge you to support the FY20 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity.  Visit our Public Policy Priorities page for more information.

www.masscap.org

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