A century of making a difference

In 2012, the League marked an amazing milestone — 100 years of operations.

It was a time to remember those who started the organization in 1912 — an independent association of citizens concerned with the major health and welfare issues of the day — and the many who kept it going through 10 trying and remarkable decades. It was also a time to strategize for the future as we changed our name (but not our mission!) to the Michigan League for Public Policy. (more…)

The Detroit News: Michigan details new program for welfare applicants

People applying for cash welfare in Michigan will have to wait until after a three-week work readiness assessment to start getting benefits under a program Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration announced Wednesday. Dec. 19, 2012 — The Detroit News

Lansing State Journal: Gilda Z. Jacobs: Caution needed in fiscal cliff talks

In the “fiscal cliff” debate in Washington, much of the focus has been on whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the very wealthy. That’s important, but there’s a lot more at stake. As we try to avoid the cliff, the wrong choices could push more Americans into poverty, worsen inequality and reduce economic opportunity. Dec. 19, 2012 — Lansing State Journal

Recession scars linger

As you complete your charitable giving for the year or prepare to celebrate the holidays with family and friends please remember that many in Michigan will be struggling with economic insecurity.

The  latest census data shows that, over the past 10 years, poverty in Michigan has grown by 66%, the fastest growth in the nation, according to a just-released report from the Michigan League for Public Policy. Nearly 1.7 million people lived in poverty in 2011, 17.5% of the population. Data continually shows that the middle class is decreasing and that poverty and economic insecurity are growing, and no group has been immune. (more…)

Holiday cheer eludes many

Dec. 18, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

Despite economy improving, many in Michigan still struggling

[LANSING, Mich.] – The holidays will not be filled with cheer for many in Michigan with nearly 1.7 million people – more than one in every six – living in poverty.

Michigan’s poverty rate grew by 66 percent over the decade, the fastest growth in the nation, according to a report, Recession Scars Linger – No Group Unscathed, released by the Michigan League for Public Policy. (more…)

Recession scars linger — no group unscathed

PDF of full report

Click for interactive graphic

The  latest census data shows that over the past 10 years, poverty in Michigan has grown by 66%, the fastest growth in the nation.

Nearly 1.7 million people lived in poverty in 2011, 17.5% of the population.  Data continually shows that the middle class is decreasing and that poverty and economic insecurity are growing, and no group has been immune.

Males, traditionally buffered from harsh downturns, saw a 30% rise in poverty since 2007, married-couple families experienced a 50% jump in poverty, and white Michiganians experienced the highest growth in poverty of all races/ethnic groups during the recession.

While forecasts indicate that the economy is improving, not everyone is being swept up in the recovery.  More than 400,000 people are still unemployed and one in every four children lives in poverty.  Michigan has had the largest drop in median income in the nation over the past 10 years and the share of households making less than $35,000 is growing while the share of households that earn $50,000 or more a year is shrinking.

Now is not the time to make cuts or limit access to the economic supports available to families in need.  Cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit, reduction of the length of time someone can receive unemployment, and policies that seek to reduce access to cash assistance and food assistance will only delay the recovery and make it more difficult for people to become economically secure.

— Melissa K. Smith

Statement: PPT changes threaten families

Dec. 13, 2012
Contact: Judy Putnam (517) 410-5798 (cell)


Statement: Personal Property Tax changes put families at risk

“Lawmakers must slow down and consider the implications of the Personal Property Tax overhaul. Without full replacement revenue from business, there are many potential risks, including reduced support for services provided by schools and communities. This raises the potential of cost-shifting to communities and it increases the pressure on our already stressed General Fund that must stretch further and further to pay for services we all need and use.

In addition, it should be remembered that this Legislature reduced the business income tax by 83 percent. Many businesses do not pay any income taxes. Businesses use and need the same services that individuals require. They should pay their fair share.  Any proposal to reduce or eliminate the PPT without full replacement puts families in Michigan at severe risk.”

For more information, see the League’s paper: Replacing Revenue Key to Successful PPT Overhaul

Statement may be attributed to Michigan League for Public Policy President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs

Michigan’s No. 1 ranking — a dubious honor

Michigan has regained the No. 1 ranking in the country for the highest number of people losing their employer-sponsored healthcare coverage according to a recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute. It’s an “honor” we wish we didn’t have.

According to the report, nearly 1.6 million individuals lost their employer-sponsored coverage over the period 2000-2001 to 2010-2011. Over the same period, the number of workers ages 18-64 with employer-sponsored coverage fell by 1.23 million, from 4.2 million in 2000-2001 to 3 million in 2010-2011, by far the largest drop in the nation. (more…)

Michigan Radio: Cuts to welfare: what’s the cost to children?

This past year, the administration of Governor Rick Snyder put new restrictions on the time families can receive cash assistance. 15,000 families have been cut off from that part of welfare which generally is used to pay rent and utilities. Michigan Watch and the online magazine Bridge have spent the last year looking into the effects of those policies. Those who’ve lost cash assistance say the state is forgetting about the children who are affected. Nov. 27, 2012 — Michigan Radio

MLive: National youth employment at lowest level since WWII; 17 percent of Michigan teens and young adults considered ‘disconnected’

More Michigan teens and young adults are not in school or working, a troubling statistic that has serious implications for the state’s workforce and economy.

About 17 percent of teens and young adults ages 16 to 24 in Michigan were jobless and not in school last year, up from 13 percent in 2000, according to a report from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit that produces the annual Kids Count report on children’s wellbeing. Dec.3, 2012 — MLive

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