It’s official – the Cap on Kids has finally been lifted.

This unjust policy denied benefits to 8,700 Massachusetts children who were conceived while – or soon after – their family began receiving benefits.

Governor Charlie Baker vetoed many efforts to repeal the family cap. But on April 25, the Senate voted 37-3 to override his veto, which, together with the House’s April 10 vote, officially lifted the cap.

Benefits will be granted to families retroactive to January 1, 2019 and must be implemented before September 1, 2019.

EMPath is proud to have advocated for this change alongside fellow members of the Coalition to Lift the Cap on Kids. Lifting the cap will provide families with an additional $100 a month for each child who was previously “capped.” This can make a big difference for families to be able to afford basic necessities like diapers or winter clothes.

Following the Senate vote, advocates celebrated outside the Senate Chambers at the State House. Senator Sal DiDomenico, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, handed out hats reading “We lifted the cap on kids.” Senate President Karen Spilka also joined the celebration briefly. Both legislators thanked advocates for their hard work.

One Voices Advocacy Council (VAC) member and EMPath program participant joined EMPath staff at the State House to celebrate the victory. Another VAC member, Toneva, also expressed her excitement after hearing the cap had been lifted.

“This is really awesome news!” she wrote to EMPath. “Feels so good to know our voices as a collective body can have an impact and make a difference in people’s lives who are in our communities. Absolutely liberating.”

EMPath is grateful to everyone who made calls, sent emails, came to the State House, shared their story, and advocated in all different ways to repeal this harmful policy. This victory is proof that change is possible. Advocacy makes a difference!