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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

MA Part of Growing State Movement for Expanded Tax Credits

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Monday, September 11, 2023   

Massachusetts is on track to become the eighteenth state this year to enact targeted tax credits to help alleviate childhood poverty.

New polling shows nearly 80% of residents support an expansion of the Child Tax Credit to $600 per dependent over the next three years.

Pedro Morillas, state campaign director for the Economic Security Project, said the policy has strong bipartisan support, and lawmakers should capitalize on it.

"Bigger is better," Morillas asserted. "As the Massachusetts Legislature is considering what to do this session they should really push to make this as generous and as expansive of a credit as they can."

A temporary expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit during the pandemic helped cut childhood poverty nearly in half.

Parents said the tax credit helped cover their most basic needs, like paying for rent and child care, even buying diapers or food.

Sindy Thomas, a stay-at-home parent in Boston, said the cash she received was life-changing, allowing her to purchase a used car to drive her four children to school and doctors' appointments.

"Sometimes one of them gets sick and is in the hospital, so it's hard to leave there, like, late in the night and to get a bus to come home," Thomas explained. "Just being able to get around more freely."

Thomas added she was even able to take her kids to Six Flags for the first time. More than 100 community organizations and institutions in the Commonwealth have called on lawmakers to prioritize children by advancing the $600 Child Tax Credit, and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to help hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers.


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