Tuesday, October 4, 2022

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Postal unions fight for higher standards of service, a proposed high-speed rail line could make a N.Y.-D.C. trip just an hour, and a study finds oilfield gas flares are more harmful than had been thought.

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The FBI says China and Russia are sowing election integrity disinformation, President Biden commits $60 million to help Puerto Rico, and New York City's mayor is bewildered by the silence over the migrant crisis.

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Baseball is America's pastime, and more international players are taking the stage, rural communities can get help applying for federal funds through the CHIPS and Science Act, and a Texas university is helping more Black and Latina women pursue careers in agriculture.

CO Families Already Benefiting from Advance Child Tax Credit Payments

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Thursday, July 22, 2021   

DENVER -- Parents are now receiving fully refundable monthly 2021 Advance Child Tax Credit payments, and advocates for children and families have urged Congress to make them permanent.

Between 20% and a quarter of Colorado households report struggling to pay usual household expenses.

Holly Baumkratz, a parent in Boulder with two children, said monthly payments, at $250 for each child per month, are a game-changer. Both she and her husband work, but she explained they cannot afford health insurance for their kids at $1,700 a month, which is out of budget for their family.

"The $500 this month is actually going to take them to the dentist, get a good cleaning, get x-rays done, and then the future $500 will go for maintenance," Baumkratz outlined. "So for us, it's kind of life-changing."

Baumkratz added preventive medical and dental care is a necessity, and she thinks it is a sign there is something wrong with our economy if it takes an extra $500 stipend just to fulfill basic needs. Census Bureau surveys find that, nationally, more Black and Latino families are struggling to pay household expenses than are white families.

Sarah Barnes, manager of special policy initiatives for the Colorado Children's Campaign, noted changes to the Child Tax Credit could reduce child poverty nationwide by nearly half, and should be made permanent.

"That money helps families with things like paying for housing and food and clothing and other necessities like that," Barnes observed. "It also can help families pay for child care, summer camp, those sorts of things for their kids."

Barnes added research shows an additional $3,000 annually for families can lead to more positive outcomes for kids down the road, from increased earnings and hours worked as adults to more educational achievement.

For households who are eligible based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, the payments should come automatically, but those who have not filed tax returns should either do so or use the IRS non-filer tool to access their payments.


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