skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, July 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says we failed; Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Kamala Harris rapidly picks up Democratic Support - including vast majority of state party leaders; National rent-cap proposal could benefit NY renters; Carter's adoption support: Empowering families, strengthening workplaces.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report: Nearly 900,000 MD Households Economically Insecure

play audio
Play

Friday, May 5, 2023   

A new report found tens of thousands of Maryland households were made financially insecure by the pandemic.

The report puts the number of financially insecure households in the state at nearly 900,000, with an increase of 70,000 since the beginning of COVID.

The "Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed" project was initiated by the United Way of Northern New Jersey in 2009. The report attempted to capture the financial circumstances of working people who still cannot afford the basics such as housing, food, health care and child care.

Overall, nearly 40 % of households in Maryland were financially insecure in 2021, with 10% below the Federal Poverty Level, and another 28% in the category experiencing difficulties. The report said among the 20 most common occupations in Maryland in 2021, 55% paid less than $20 an hour.

Franklyn Baker, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Maryland, noted while living wage advocates have attempted to raise the minimum wage closer to $20 an hour, in many places it is still not enough.

"There's this hyperfixation around the country on the term living wage or thriving wage or survivable wage," Baker observed. "But at the end of the day, $20 per hour is still not at a place where you're really thriving as a family. And so you're really just trying to survive at 20 bucks an hour."

A Federal Reserve survey last year showed 32% of all adults did not have $400 for an unexpected economic emergency.

While many people in poverty, or just above the Federal Poverty Line qualify for federal and state benefits such as SNAP or Medicaid, many middle income households do not. People working who get a raise or are promoted often face a sudden drop-off in benefits advocates refer to as a 'benefits cliff'.

Baker argued legislators need to change the eligibility requirements so the impact of benefits loss is more gradual.

"There's legislation in many states in the queue or has already been passed, that essentially can delay the impact," Baker explained. "Instead of an immediate impact, it's over the course of multiple years. So it's a gradual hit in the loss of eligibility for certain benefits that they've become reliant upon."

During the pandemic many households were kept afloat by expanded federal supports which have since ended. The study's authors estimated the cost of living for a family of four renting a residence in the state in 2021 was more than $80,000 dollars per year. Incomes providing a middle class living a few years ago now leave families struggling to make ends meet and leave almost no room for savings, they added.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Democrats have a chance for a reset at their August convention, but an SMU political science professor says the party must proceed carefully to pick its new presidential nominee in a smooth and graceful manner. (Fox_Dsign/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

With fewer than four months before the November general election, Democrats are planning their next move following President Joe Biden's decision to …


Social Issues

play sound

California political analysts predict the race for president will tighten since President Joe Biden has dropped out and endorsed Vice President Kamala…

Social Issues

play sound

Over the weekend, while self-isolating and recovering from COVID, President Joe Biden announced he is stepping down as the Democratic candidate in …


In Vermont, Maine and the District of Columbia, people with felony convictions do not lose their right to vote. (Studio Romantic/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

About 7,000 Nebraskans with felony convictions who thought they'd be able to register to vote, now face uncertainty. In question is the …

play sound

More Americans are learning about the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation this election season, but its influence has been decades in the …

U.S. per capita consumption of fish and shellfish rose from nearly 16 lbs. in 2002 to more than 20 lbs. in 2021, a 31% increase according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

New global guidelines for aquaculture aim to address growing concerns about the industry's impact on the oceans. Scientists have suggested ways to …

Social Issues

play sound

Backers of President Joe Biden's rent cap proposal said it could benefit many New Yorkers. The plan calls for capping rent increases at 5% in …

Social Issues

play sound

Virginia is making a financial investment to help tackle the state's childcare shortage. This year's budget allocates more than $1 billion to …

 

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