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March 25th Newsletter – MASSCAP

Massachusetts Association for Community Action

Road to Opportunity: Finding the Way Forward
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MASSCAP newsletter – March 25, 2020

A Message from MASSCAP

(See newsletter for full message)
The pandemic is affecting our lives in profound and unexpected ways.  As completely unexpected as this pandemic is, we are not surprised at all at how we are all pulling together and adjusting so that we can continue to help, protect, and support the people we serve…

The Community Action network (23 Agencies Strong) here in Massachusetts (as well as across the country) is doing everything possible to continue to help people access the programs and services they need while taking the necessary measures to keep everyone safe and healthy.

PUBLIC POLICY MATTERS: MA State Budget Critical

The state funding for policy and programs are crucial in finding the way forward in Massachusetts, especially now when so many are being negatively impacted by COVID-19.  Part of our response must include supporting public policies that will help our vulnerable friends and neighbors living with low incomes to weather this very trying period.  We believe that the below few critical budget measures for the FY21 budget will strengthen our social safety net now and into the future.

Please join us in supporting our TOP FY21 Priorities:

Creating a Foundation for Economic Opportunity

  • Create State Fuel Assistance Line Item ($10M)
  • Fuel Assistance is a defacto federal and state partnership – The state has provided between $10M and $30M as needed over the past 30 years
  • Federal resources have declined over the past several years from $200M to $130M and will likely continue to decrease.
  • Learn more at heatinghelpma.org

Bridging the Wage Gap

  • Provide resources for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance ($800K)
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites help taxpayers working 1, 2 and sometimes 3 jobs access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a resource that is critically important now
  • Learn more at www.masscap.org/freetaxprep/

Strengthening Families through Affordable, Accessible Early Education & Care

  • Increase Early Education Teacher Salaries ($30M)
  • Increase Head Start ($15M) and Child Resources Referral Access Management ($12.1M)

Learn more about our full list of priorities at masscap.org/policy-advocacy/priorities and read our Public Policy Priorities Fact Sheet.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Fuel Assistance was there when they needed it most!

(See newsletter for full story)
Carol started her thank you letter to Worcester Community Action Council with "Thank you for notifying me of your upcoming fuel assistance deadline, but I am happy to inform your agency that I will no longer be needing fuel assistance.  I do want to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your past assistance."

CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION

Heating Help is still Available! Visit heatinghelpma.org for more information about fuel assistance and the agency serving your area.

Free Tax Prep is available at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites.  Find your Community Action VITA site at masscap.org/freetaxprep.

We urge you to support the FY21 priorities so that together we can move forward on the road to opportunity. Visit our Public Policy Priorities webpage.

www.masscap.org

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