Excellent news to share!
The Legislature’s recently passed economic development bill included the adoption of the Cliff Effect pilot legislation! Springfield Works, the Food Bank of Western MA and the MA Economic Pathways Coalition, which includes the Western MA Network to End Homelessness, have been championing this bill for several years. Congratulations to everyone for this great success!
The bill addresses the sudden loss of benefits (also called a “cliff” or “cliff effect”) that prevents many people from being able to take jobs or raises because small gains in income can mean major loss of supports that leave people economically worse off than they were before. This pilot will allow 100 families across the Commonwealth to participate in a three-year program providing them with job training, coaching, and mentoring, allowing them to advance in career pathways while receiving monetary assistance to help ease the loss of public benefits like housing, childcare and SNAP.
Thanks to Senator Eric Lesser and Representatives Carlos Gonzalez and Patricia Duffy, the lead sponsors and champions on this bill, for making Massachusetts a national leader in working to eliminate cliff effects for its residents. The bill is currently awaiting Governor Baker’s signature.
The pilot program will go into effect next year – stay tuned for updates!