Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.


Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.


The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Bill to Expand Tax Credits Draws on Children's Health Data


Tuesday, February 7, 2023   

A bill to increase tax credits in the Commonwealth is backed up by research showing the credits lead to better nutrition for working families and better long-term health outcomes for children. Lawmakers want to expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit and streamline other existing dependent tax credits to help put even a few hundred dollars back in the pockets of working people, including immigrants and many essential workers.

Democratic State Senator Jamie Eldridge said while food, energy and housing prices are up significantly, the bill is about more than just rebates.

"It's also about their health care," Eldridge said. "It's about taking care of kids and making sure they have adequate nutrition, and it's something that really has a tremendous impact on the entire Commonwealth. "

Eldridge added the legislation will help decrease food insecurity and ensure a basic standard of living for people to survive in an increasingly expensive Commonwealth.

Expansion of the Child Tax Credit is credited with cutting child poverty in the U.S. by more than 40% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies show the tax credits improve the health of mothers, decrease low birth weights in infants, and even lead to improved academic outcomes for children.

Charlotte Bruce, senior research and policy analyst with Children's Health Watch at Boston Medical Center, said the tax credits provide direct cash payments to those in need.

"When you look at the data of how families spend tax credits, particularly if they're done periodically, they're really being used to afford basic needs and other enrichments for their child," she said.

Bruce added the extra income allows people to spend money on healthy meals and necessary medical care.

But tax credits cannot help families if they don't know they exist. MASSCAP, a coalition of Community Action Agencies, operates 40 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance centers to help people receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

Ancel Tejada, Financial Empowerment Program Manager with MASSCAP, called the tax credits "course changing."

"A lot of our families do take that time and opportunity to get that money, and they do start their emergency savings account and they do start to pay back some back debt, Tejada said."

Tejada added the expanded tax credits recently helped one mother take her daughter to the beach for the first time, providing a healthy respite for both mother and child.

Disclosure: Massachusetts Association for Community Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The VOTES Act also ensures the Commonwealth joins the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a multi-state consortium which aims to keep voter registration rolls up to date, encourage voter registration and prevent voter fraud. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Voting rights advocates in Massachusetts are applauding Governor Maura Healey's budgetary backing of new policies stemming from last year's passage of…


Climate-change groups are calling attention to the environmental destruction linked to the wood pellet industry - even as California is considering a …

Social Issues

Many Nebraskans know how crucial a family caregiver is to one of their family members. Now AARP research has put a dollar value on that unpaid care - …

Going back generations, many Indigenous cultures developed strong ties with bison and relied upon them for sustenance, shelter, and cultural and religious practices. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

South Dakota is home to one of the nation's largest American Indian reservations, and the area is part of a movement among tribal nations to take …

Health and Wellness

As the cost of food, medicine and rent continues to climb, new data shows the benefits miners receive are now 40% less than what they received in 1969…

Stedman farmer Demi Tucker has been growing mushrooms on her family's land for the past few years. (Demi Tucker)


With the cost of farmland up by more than 8% percent in North Carolina, the state's Black farmers are struggling to purchase additional acreage or …


By Zachary Shepherd and Kelsey Paulus for Kent State News Lab.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Co…

Social Issues

Republican-sponsored bills and amendments in the Legislature would eliminate the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. More than 1.5-million …


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