Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Report: Child Tax Credit to Benefit More than 90% of Maine Kids

Play

Tuesday, June 22, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Child wellbeing in Maine improved between 2010 and 2019, according to a new annual report, but advocates for children and families say the pandemic has highlighted the need for strong support.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book shows that in 2019, 14% of Maine children were living in poverty, although that number is down from 2010, but 6% of children lacked health insurance, more than in 2010.

Helen Hemminger, research and KIDS COUNT associate for the Maine's Children Alliance, said bold policies are needed.

"It's clear that the pandemic has laid bare existing issues or economic disparities or racial divides," Hemminger asserted. "But we're looking to do more to make it better for those who face so much, particularly families with young children."

According to the latest Census Bureau national survey, Black and Latino households with children reported far more concerns than white households on issues ranging from mental health and accessing health insurance to ability to pay their rent or mortgage on time and put food on the table.

The American Rescue Plan included an expansion of the Child Tax Credit, from $2,000 annually to up to $3,600 per child depending on their age.

Hemminger pointed to data that showed 91% of Maine kids will benefit from the tax credit.

"We expect 10,000 children to be lifted up out of poverty due to the child tax credits that are coming forward next month in July," Hemminger predicted. "We have currently about 33,000 children in poverty."

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, urged policymakers to make the child tax credit permanent. She added children who grow up in poverty often have worse health outcomes.

"They live in substandard housing that has issues like mold and lead that go untreated," Boissiere explained. "Lower-income families live in poorer neighborhoods that have poorer-resourced schools, so their education outcomes tend to be worse."

Even before COVID-19 disrupted education, 13% of Maine high school students were not graduating on time, and last fall, nearly half of Maine families where at least one person planned to pursue higher education canceled their plans or reduced their class load.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


Geothermal energy is produced by drilling deep into the earth's bedrock, pumping in water, and using the resulting steam to generate power. (Utah FORGE)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

Social Issues

SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico legislator is optimistic a bill will pass in the 2022 session to prohibit life sentences for juveniles convicted of …

 

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