Great Recession leaves Michigan poorer, Census numbers show

Economists called it the Great Recession — a slowdown in the American economy that officially began in late 2007 and ended in the summer of 2009. Oct. 23, 2011 —

Heating aid cuts could impact many in region

Michigan’s winter is expected to be harsh. Oct. 24, 2011 — Lansing State Journal

Michael Cohen Capital City Recap

Jan Hudson, Senior Policy Analyst, MLHS. Jan’s interview on “Understanding Medicaid: Complex, Compassionate, Cost Effective” report. Oct. 24, 2011 — 1320 WILS

Time limits are tough enough

Nov. 1 is right around the corner, the date when the state is expected to implement the time limits on cash assistance after a court ordered a month delay so the Department of Human Services could give   recipients adequate notice that benefits would end.  (more…)

Commentary: Asset test for food aid is bad policy

As former budget directors working for Republican and Democratic governors, we urge the administration of Gov. Rick Snyder to reconsider the new food stamp asset test that will eliminate food benefits for thousands in Michigan. Oct. 14, 2011 — The Detroit News

Robert Emerson and Don Gilmer are board members of the Michigan League for Human Services.

Unemployed to Congress: Extend the benefits

Here we go again. Congress is once more balking at extending the lifeline to unemployed workers and their families as they look for work.

In Michigan, inaction by Congress would mean 66,700 unemployed workers would lose access to Unemployment Insurance benefits, according to a new paper by the National Employment Law Project called Hanging On By a Thread. (more…)

Surprise! More money

Budget-cutting proponents said recent state budget cuts were needed because state revenue had fallen and the state could no longer afford to provide the services it had in the past. That was the rationale for cutting everything from community colleges and higher education to safety net programs to funding for local governments to K-12 funding.

Well guess what? It looks like the state is going to close out last year’s fiscal year with a surplus. (more…)

Food pantries struggle with empty shelves, increased need

Laurie Schmidt of Bay City never thought she’d find herself picking up groceries for her family of three at a local food pantry, but Wednesday morning she was filling out the paperwork required to take home a box loaded with peanut butter, soup and bread. Oct. 13, 2011 —

State cuts could mean hundreds face loss of welfare food assistance in Great Lakes Bay region

Hundreds of people in the Great Lakes Bay Region could have their welfare food assistance cut off in the months ahead because of state limitations on how much cash they have in the bank or the value of the car in their driveway. Oct. 13, 2011 —

The other side of the story

At the League, we’ve fielded several troubling calls over the last few weeks as new policies kick in limiting food assistance and putting new time limits on cash assistance.

Some people want to vent, others to cry. Often they don’t want to give their names. Many are frustrated with policies they see as arbitrary and unfair and pulling the rug out from under them at a time when they have few options. (more…)

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