A message from On Solid Ground/CHAPA:
On May 10th, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means (SWM) released its FY2019 state budget proposal. The $41.2 billion budget includes many increased investments for education, affordable housing, homelessness prevention, and community development programs. Thanks to Chairwoman Karen Spilka for these investments. Click here for Mass Budget’s analysis of the MA Senate Budget
Amendments to the SWM budget have been filed. Click here to see OSG’s priority list of amendments to the SWM FY19 budget to support and further strengthen our economic mobility and homelessness prevention priorities. The Senate will debate and vote on its budget the week of May 21st.
Please call or email your State Senator TODAY to ask her or him to sign-on and support the following amendments for economic mobility and housing stability programs!
Follow us on twitter @OSGMA to get updates on the House budget debate!
Call or Email to State Representative:
“Hello, I am **NAME** and I am from **CITY or TOWN** in the Senator’s district. Programs that support housing stability and economic mobility are important to me. I am requesting that the Senator sign on to the following amendments to prevent homelessness and build opportunity for Massachusetts residents. **LIST THE AMENDMENTS BELOW**. Thank you very much.”
LIST OF AMENDMENTS:
#797 – ECONOMIC MOBILITY AND STABILITY PROGRAM (NEW)
Senator Jamie Eldridge‘s amendment establishes a commission to study the numerous self-sufficiency programs operating in Massachusetts. Self-sufficiency or economic mobility programs offer a pathway for financial mobility for families with low incomes, help them get education, increase their incomes, build assets, and attain financial self-sufficiency. This commission would bring together stakeholders to:
- Identify program components that help participants increase their incomes and become more stable in their housing;
- Examine “cliff effects” and provide policy recommendations to ensure people increase their housing stability and economic mobility as their incomes increase, rather than being worse off as benefit programs decrease or end and their incomes aren’t enough to make ends meet; and
- Determine ways to adjust assistance in response to changes in income tied to minimum wage increases.
#723 – HOMEBASE (7004-0108)
Sen. Crighton’s amendment helps families maintain housing stability after their HomeBASE assistance ends through the following program changes:
- Allows for households to renew assistance without going through the eviction process when their incomes are insufficient to maintain their tenancies.
- Ensures access to further assistance when families who have used HomeBASE can no longer afford their homes and are evicted through no fault of their own.
- Increases funding to $35 million to cover the estimated costs of renewals.
#777 – MASSACHUSETTS RENTAL VOUCHER PROGRAM (7004-9024)
Sen. Joseph Boncore’s amendment increases funding to $120 million and makes the following important improvements to increase MRVP’s effectiveness:
- Makes MRVP more usable by using current fair market rent standards;
- Gets vouchers out faster by mandating a date by which DHCD issues new vouchers in FY19; and
- Directs 75% of new vouchers to households with extremely low incomes.
#232 – EARLY EDUCATION SALARY RATE RESERVE (3000-1042)
Sen. Moore’s amendment funds the Center-Based Child Care Rate Increases. These increases in the rates the state pays to early education centers for each child in subsidized care can help facilitate improvements in salary, benefits, and working conditions for early education teachers.
#14 – EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT (EITC) (NEW)
Senator Cynthia Creem’s amendment increases the state EITC to 50% of the federal EITC value from the 30% proposed in the Senate Ways & Means budget. The state EITC is an effective and efficient tax credit that improves health, rewards work, increases economic mobility, and reduces inequality.
Thank you for your consideration and please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have about these amendments or programs.