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.
Massachusetts operates on a two-year legislative session; the current session runs from January 2, 2019- December 31, 2020. Formal session ends on July 31, 2020.
2020 Priority Legislation Agenda
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.