Maintaining cultural ties and family stability for American Indian Children

American Indian children in Michigan are the most likely to be removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect: 1.5 times the rate of white children and the highest of all children of color in the state, according to the Michigan Race Equity Coalition. They are also more likely to age out of the foster care system. It is disturbing, however, that the rate of investigation for abuse and/or neglect is lower compared with white children. (more…)

Michigan Radio: On the road to another tax increase that will hit low-income earners hardest

Two years ago, Michigan raised taxes on the working poor. It was reported plenty at the time; it should be no surprise.

If you want to be technical about it, the state didn’t so much raise taxes on the working poor. It reduced the tax credits that went to the working poor. The Michigan League for Public Policy estimates that prior to 2011, the average low-income family in Michigan received a tax refund of $446. In 2012, that refund dropped to $138. The MLPP says the change means that about 15,000 fewer families were lifted out of poverty as a result of the credits. Nov. 17, 2014 — Michigan Radio

 

Moving from mass incarceration to mass education

Michigan needs to spend less on prisons and more on schools.

Between 1986 and 2013, Michigan’s spending on prisons jumped 147% when inflation is counted, according to research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Meanwhile, per-pupil foundation spending in Michigan remains lower than before the Great Recession began. (more…)

MLive: Why one Michigan senator is taking on unpredictable work schedules ahead of Thanksgiving shopping holiday

Unpredictable work schedules leave some Michigan workers juggling last-minute shifts with childcare and transportation, something Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, is hoping to change. Nov. 19, 2014 — MLive

My Fox Detroit: Let it Rip Weekend: Gas tax increase to fund road repairs and revealing GM emails

Is raising the gas tax the best way fund road repairs? We debate it with President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy Gilda Jacobs, Americans for Prosperity-Michigan director Scott Hagerstrom and State Representative Harvey Santana. Nov. 16, 2014 — My Fox Detroit

Second debut of healthcare.gov starts Saturday

The Health Insurance Marketplace is scheduled to open Saturday for its second season debut. Hopefully the Affordable Care Act plan will be much improved from last year. Kevin Counihan, a Michigan native and federal official overseeing the federal Marketplace, is confident it will.

“I feel very good about it. We’ve been making a lot of progress,” Counihan told MLive.

(more…)

Michigan Radio: Government should look for creative ways to address the realities facing families

For the next few weeks, the Michigan Legislature will be meeting in what is called a “lame-duck” session, since a third or more of its members are leaving afterwards, voluntarily or otherwise. Term limits will end the careers of about a third, and a few others were defeated or are voluntarily moving on. Nov. 12, 2014 — Michigan Radio

Children thrive when parents succeed

Roughly half of Michigan’s young children ages 0-8 live in low-income families where meeting basic needs is a daily challenge.

Living in a financially stressed family during childhood has a long-term impact on education and employment. A child who spends the critical early years in poverty is less likely to graduate from high school and remain employed as an adult. To be more effective in assisting these families, public and private programs need to address the needs of both parents and children. (more…)

Two-generation strategies needed

Contacts: Judy Putnam | 517.487.5436 | JPutnam@mlpp.org
Jane Zehnder-Merrell | 517.487.5436 | Janezm@mlpp.org
 
Editors note: County data on young children in low-income families available here.

Half of Michigan’s young families struggle to make ends meet
Coordinated approach must address whole family to lift children from poverty

LANSING, Mich. – With half of Michigan’s young children growing up in low-income households, state leaders must do more to lift kids out of poverty, including passing family-friendly work laws and offering better support for working parents with very low incomes.

A new Annie E. Casey Foundation report, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach, outlines common sense strategies to deliver high-quality early childhood education while helping parents with access to job training, career paths and other tools that will enable them to support their families. (more…)

Don’t hurt working people with road repairs

For release: Nov. 10, 2014
Contact: Judy Putnam at 517.487.5436 or jputnam@mlpp.org

Paying for roads: Let’s not make it harder for people to get to work

LANSING, Mich. — Paying for road improvements in Michigan should not be on the backs of working families already struggling to cover the basics nor should it come from shortchanging other essential services that are needed to grow the economy, a new policy brief released today by the Michigan League for Public Policy concludes.

Replacing the state’s flat per-gallon fuel taxes with a tax based on the wholesale price of gas would likely have the least harmful impact on working families and low-income individuals, especially if coupled with other policies to offset the effect, such as increasing the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit. A sales tax increase would have the most harmful impact on families with low incomes because those families pay a much bigger share of their incomes in sales tax than more affluent households. (more…)

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