Monday, February 6, 2023


Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.


The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.


Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Housing Advocates: Time to Boost Assistance for Low-Income MN Families


Thursday, April 28, 2016   

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As the state Senate continues to debate its budget plan today, anti-poverty advocates are urging lawmakers to boost funding for a program aimed at helping low-income families.

Supporters of the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or MFIP, say the amount of cash assistance hasn't been updated in 30 years.

Kenza Hadj-Moussa communications director for the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, says the current maximum of $532 per month for a working family of three doesn't go as far as it did in 1986.

"Since cash assistance has eroded, we've seen family homelessness increase dramatically since the 1990s,” she states. “And so, while a $100 increase wouldn't necessarily prevent homelessness, it definitely helps in terms of general family stability."

Last year, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a raise of $100 a month for the program. Even though the idea was backed by Gov. Mark Dayton, it wasn't approved. Currently, the Senate has no plans for an MFIP raise.

According to research from the St. Paul-based Wilder Foundation, while MFIP assistance has remained the same, the costs of housing and transportation have almost doubled in the state.

Hadj-Moussa argues that even a modest raise for the program in the next budget could make a big difference for low-income families.

"Thirty years is too long for families to wait,” she stresses. “No family can get by on $532 a month. We've got a $900 million budget surplus, and it's time for lawmakers to figure this out."

Meanwhile, Dayton's budget plan includes setting aside about $68 million to boost the monthly grant. That plan would be funded by a mix of federal and state dollars.

get more stories like this via email

Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)


By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …

Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021