Senate plan to increase child tax credit falls short for Maine’s most vulnerable children

November 22, 2017 by

James Myall

The Senate Republican tax plan fails to offer meaningful benefit to Maine’s working families with children. The plan’s signature change for working families, a change to the refundable child tax credit, is being pushed as “relief for hardworking families” —but as with so much of the bill, tens of thousands of low-income families are being overlooked for the benefit of the wealthy.

The change in the Senate bill … Read the rest

CFPB takes first step with new federal payday lending rule, but Maine must be on guard

October 6, 2017 by

Jody Harris

Just yesterday, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a new rule that will reduce the harm to Maine families of short-term payday lending. But the new consumer finance protections are already under attack by the very lenders who profit from this kind of predatory lending. It is now more important than ever that our congressional delegation and state legislators pass and strengthen laws that protect Maine … Read the rest

SNAP turns 40: Providing sustenance for working poor families

September 29, 2017 by

Jody Harris

Friday, September 29 marks the 40th anniversary of the 1977 Food Stamp Act, the landmark law that established the nation’s modern anti-hunger program—as it’s now known, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Forty years on and Mainers, especially Maine’s working poor families, struggle more now they than ever before in the SNAP program’s history to get food assistance due to misguided and dangerous state policies.

While SNAP … Read the rest

Question 2 will create a strong economy, thriving communities, and successful kids

November 1, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

Maine’s future economic success depends on having a well-skilled workforce able to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century – and the means of developing that workforce is through the education of our children.  Research indicates that investment in education is not only one of the best economic decisions a state can make, but that the earlier we direct resources at students, the more impact it has on … Read the rest

Health Reform is Making History – But Maine is Slipping Behind

September 22, 2014 by

History is happening: the percent of Americans without health coverage is the lowest it’s been since the 1990s. Medicare costs are declining – not just slowing – making the program more sustainable in the future. Maine’s 2015 marketplace premiums are either flat – or lower than last year. Health reform is working.

I happened across a time capsule this summer, and it brought home for me exactly how huge an … Read the rest

Maine’s Economic Recovery: Limited job growth, persistent underemployment, and declining incomes

September 19, 2014 by

For months, we’ve written about Maine’s anemic economic recovery relative to the rest of the country. Today’s August jobs report does little to change that story. Maine has recovered just 63 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession and still ranks 43rd among all states and Washington, DC in its jobs recovery. By contrast, the US has recovered 110 percent of jobs lost in the recession and … Read the rest

Child poverty fell in 2013, but median household income continues to go nowhere

September 18, 2014 by

Child poverty in Maine fell back to pre-recession levels in 2013, but income for the median household and the overall poverty rate saw no improvement, according to annual estimates released today by the US Census Bureau.

Maine has 548,000 households. Half of them have incomes above the median and half have incomes below. The Census Bureau estimates that income of the median household in Maine was $46,974 in 2013, … Read the rest

Attention: Important Census Data Ahead

September 12, 2014 by

Data Ahead 9-12-2014Next week the U.S. Census Bureau will have two major releases that will provide researchers, policymakers, the media, and the public with critically important data on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage nationally and state-by-state. On Tuesday (September 16) the bureau will unveil its Current Population Survey (CPS) and select information about health insurance coverage from its American Community Survey (ACS).  On Thursday (September 18) the bureau will release … Read the rest

A simple 1-2 punch to give working Mainers a raise

September 5, 2014 by

Increasing Maine’s earned income tax credit and raising the state’s minimum wage would go a long way toward making work pay for Maine’s families today and lay the foundation for a stronger economy tomorrow, according to new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

With wages for the typical Maine worker still well below pre-recession levels and no signs of growth in sight, lawmakers should act immediately when … Read the rest

Maine’s Working Families Deserve to Earn a Living Wage

August 27, 2014 by

The new report by the Alliance for a Just Society, “Families Out of Balance: How a living wage helps families move from debt to stability,” provides sobering data about how much Mainers must earn just to make ends meet.

Simply put, wages in Maine are insufficient to cover the cost of living – and even though the recession is officially over, too many people remain under- or un-employed.  The … Read the rest

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