MLPP Blog: Factually Speaking

Child poverty in the 21st century

Added February 27th, 2015 by Jane Zehnder-Merrell | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jane Zehnder-Merrell

The number of Michigan children living in families with income below the poverty level drops by half when tax and non-cash benefits are included as income, according to the latest analysis from the national KIDS COUNT project at the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The percentage of the state’s children who would be living in poverty if no government program benefits and tax credits were available, however, stood at 30 percent, as calculated by the Supplemental Poverty Measure. (more…)

Why kids count

Added February 19th, 2015 by Jane Zehnder-Merrell | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jane Zehnder-Merrell

Recent news reports celebrate the decline in the unemployment rate and the quickened tempo of the recovery. But four years into the recovery, Michigan’s child poverty rates remain consistently high.

In 2013, one of every four children in Michigan lived in a family with income below the federal poverty level (roughly $18,800 for a single-parent family of three and $23,600 for a two-parent family of four), according to the latest Kids Count in Michigan Data Book, released today. (more…)

President urging seven paid sick days a year

Added January 16th, 2015 by Peter Ruark | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Peter Ruark

Imagine a line cook with a head cold having to turn aside and sneeze every few minutes while preparing your lunch. Or a couple of workers fighting the flu while caring for your child at a daycare center. Or your child sitting in school with a lot of sick classmates whose parents could not take the day off to care for them.

This kind of thing probably happens more than we would like to think, because many workers lose pay if they miss work due to sickness.

Thursday, President Obama urged  Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, a law that would require employers to give their workers at least seven paid sick days each year. He also urged states and municipalities to pass similar laws. (more…)

More child care oversight needed

Added January 8th, 2015 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

Every day in Michigan, parents head out to work with their young children in tow, dropping them off at local child care centers or homes. Child care is a necessity for many working families because they rely on two incomes to make ends meet or because they are raising children as single parents.

Yet oversight of health and safety requirements is stretched far too thin in Michigan, a new policy brief from the League concludes. (more…)

Celebrating good public policy in Michigan

Added December 19th, 2014 by Gilda Z. Jacobs | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Gilda Z. Jacobs

Restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit, part of the bipartisan compromise on road funding approved early today, will be a boost to struggling families across Michigan.

If voters agree to the package, it will put extra dollars into working households where families have the hardest time making ends meet. It’s designed to offset additional costs from an increase in the state sales tax and wholesale gas tax to pay to fix Michigan’s battered roads. (more…)

Another milestone for the Healthy Michigan Plan

Added December 12th, 2014 by Jan Hudson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jan Hudson

The Healthy Michigan Plan reached another milestone this week with enrollment topping 481,000. That number exceeds the original enrollment projection of 477,000 for the entire program. It was expected to take two years to achieve full enrollment.

What an accomplishment in nine months!

The best part is that enrollees are actually receiving healthcare services. According to the Department of Community Health, more than 315,000 primary care and preventive care visits have occurred since the program was implemented. Enrollees are clearly engaged in improving their health and taking advantage of the services now available to them to do so. (more…)

Patchwork? Bring it on!

Added December 5th, 2014 by Peter Ruark | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Peter Ruark

A proposal that would prevent local governments from enacting their own minimum wage, paid leave or unpaid leave ordinances was debated by the House Michigan Competitive Committee Thursday and is expected to be voted on next week. The League supports policies such as paid sick and family leave to help low-wage workers balance family and work.

The word patchwork was bandied about at the hearing on the bill. That word reminds most people of quilts made by their grandmothers, but for some legislators and business group leaders, it apparently brings nightmarish visions of some local areas having ordinances that help workers while others do not. (more…)

High cost of low pay for child care providers

Added December 4th, 2014 by Pat Sorenson | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Pat Sorenson

The failure of the state and federal governments to address low wages for child care providers comes at a high price for the economy, the state budget, and ultimately for children and their families.

Nearly half of all child care workers in Michigan have incomes so low that they are eligible for and receive public supports, including Medicaid, MIChild, food assistance, or Earned Income Tax Credit benefits – at a cost exceeding $80 million annually according to a new study of the early childhood workforce. (more…)

Children thrive when parents succeed

Added November 12th, 2014 by Jane Zehnder-Merrell | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Jane Zehnder-Merrell

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…)

Discrimination = poverty

Added October 15th, 2014 by Karen Holcomb-Merrill | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Karen Holcomb-Merrill

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are more likely to struggle with poverty, according to a new report, Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for being LGBT in America.

And the study points out what we already know: There is a clear connection between economic security and anti-LGBT laws. (more…)

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