Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Discouraging Trends for MT Children Leading into Pandemic, Data Shows

Play

Monday, June 21, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- Troubling trends in Montana may have made the pandemic harder for children, a new report shows.

The latest Annie E. Casey's KIDS COUNT report ranks states based on 2019 data in four categories: economic wellbeing, education, health, and family and community. Montana ranks 22nd overall.

Xanna Burg, KIDS COUNT coordinator at the Montana Budget and Policy Center, said families have been struggling to afford housing, which became harder during the pandemic.

Burg added another concerning trend is the recent rise in Montana children without health insurance, up to about 15,000 in 2019.

"That was before the pandemic, and it's concerning because so many families, their health insurance is tied to their employment," Burg explained. "And so we're concerned that this number may have increased as a result of some of the job loss that we saw in the last year."

Burg argued Montana should support Medicaid and improve outreach in order to enroll more children in the program.

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, said Congress passed pandemic relief quickly, including an expansion of the Child Tax Credit within the American Rescue Plan Act.

She explained the policy is expected to pull as many as half of the children living in poverty out of it, but noted it's only temporary.

"We are excited and grateful that lawmakers passed the expansion," Boissiere stated. "And we're calling on them to make that expansion permanent. We'd like to ensure that we don't have the largest ever, one year reduction in the number of children who live in poverty followed immediately by the largest ever one-year increase."

Burg noted Native American children in Montana face greater hardships than their white counterparts, including higher rates of poverty. She emphasized policymakers should look at the pandemic recovery as a chance to reimagine how we support children and families, instead of returning to the way it was before COVID-19.

"So when making decisions and creating supports for families, how can we think about specifically supporting Native children and other children of color in our state so that we don't see these disparities continue in the data?" Burg asked.

Disclosure: Annie E. Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, and Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


Geothermal energy is produced by drilling deep into the earth's bedrock, pumping in water, and using the resulting steam to generate power. (Utah FORGE)

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Arkansas farmers produce more than 9 billion pounds of rice each year. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

Social Issues

SANTA FE, N.M. -- A New Mexico legislator is optimistic a bill will pass in the 2022 session to prohibit life sentences for juveniles convicted of …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021