EMPath and its partners in the Healthy Families EITC Coalition joined legislators at the Massachusetts State House to advocate for increasing the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), an effective and efficient tax policy that increases economic mobility and reduces inequality.

The event was held in support of the bill “An Act Improving the Earned Income Tax Credit for Healthier Families,” one of EMPath’s FY20 legislative priorities. If enacted, the bill would increase the state EITC from 30% to 50%, in addition to expanding eligibility and outreach.

Advocates from a range of organizations, coalitions, and associations, along with workers and their families, gathered to show their support. Panelists from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Boston Medical Center, and the Boston Tax Help Coalition spoke on the positive impacts for families and communities as a result of the tax credit. Three women who have received EITC also shared their own stories and spoke about how it’s improved their lives.

State Representative Marjorie Decker, one of the bill’s sponsors, spoke on the importance of EITC and emphasized the discrepancy between wages and high cost of living. “This is a bill that recognizes that it’s not okay that you work as hard as you can and it’s not enough,” she said. “One job should be enough.” Decker talked about her own experience growing up in poverty and how her parents had to work multiple jobs in order provide basic needs for their family.

Following the briefing, EMPath and other coalition members urged representatives to support the effort, both in the budget and by helping to advance the bill.