To disrupt poverty today – and for future generations – we need to develop public policy measures that dedicate the support systems, funding and time needed to create economic mobility and stability for low-income families.
Explore EMPath’s Advocacy pages to learn more about how we advocate for legislative initiatives to support low-income families in Massachusetts trying to navigate the multi-faceted, multi-year challenge of moving out of poverty.
Our priority bills were selected based on input from families and staff. EMPath plays a leadership role in the coalitions that are moving these bills forward.
1. Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (H2434/S1646)
Sponsors: Rep. Majorie Decker, Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Increases the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) from 30% to 50% of the federal EITC and expands eligibility and outreach to reward work and increase economic mobility.
2. Examining Economic Mobility for Families with Low-Income (H173/S58)
Sponsors: Rep. Aaron Vega, Sen. Jason Lewis
Requires the collection of data and coordination needed to identify effective self-sufficiency programs and examines the impact of cliff effects tied to minimum wage increases.
3. Lifting Kids out of Deep Poverty (H102/S36)
Sponsors: Rep. Marjorie Decker, Sen. Sal DiDomenico
Raises the Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) grant to 50% of the Federal Poverty Level in order to lift families out of deep poverty.
CONSUMER DEBT & PROTECTION
1. Establishing a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (H3807/S164)
Sponsors: Rep. Jennifer Benson, Sen. Jason Lewis
Creates a Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to reimburse students who are entitled to a refund of tuition and related costs if the for-profit school they attended closed, failed to provide the services promised to their students, or violated state law.
HOUSING & SHELTER
1. Improving the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) (H1305/S797)
Sponsors: Rep. Adrian Madaro, Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Puts the MRVP in state statute, and would connect allowable rent levels to the current fair market rents as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Currently, households receiving new subsides are expected to find units at or below the 2005 Fair Market Rent (FMR), unless a waiver is issued.
2. Protecting Families Experiencing Homelessness from Sleeping in Unsafe Places (H1265)
Sponsor: Rep. Marjorie Decker
Directs the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to provide Emergency Assistance (EA) shelter to otherwise eligible families with children without requiring families to prove that they already stayed in a place not meant for human habitation.
Supported bills are those where EMPath contributes to the efforts of other organizations or advocacy coalitions.
Closing the SNAP Gap (H1173/S678) — Rep. Jay Livingstone, Sen. Sal DiDomenico
Creating of a Pilot Program to Address the Impact of the Cliff Effect (H174/S57) — Rep. Aaron Vega, Sen. Eric Lesser
Fairness in Debt Collection (H919/S578) — Rep. Paul Brodeur, Sen. Jamie Eldridge
Protecting Immigrant Communities (H1520/S1401) — Reps. Ruth Balser & Liz Miranda, Sen. Jamie Eldridge