Monday, August 2, 2021

Play

Hundreds of thousands of Medi-Cal recipients are paying monthly premiums when they donít have to; Dr. Fauci predicts the pandemic will get worse.

Play

The Texas voting rights fight gets star power; lawmakers stage a sit-in as the eviction moratorium expires; and Senators work overtime on infrastructure.

Report: Child Tax Credit to Benefit More than 90% of Maine Kids

Play

Tuesday, June 22, 2021   

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Child wellbeing in Maine improved between 2010 and 2019, according to a new annual report, but advocates for children and families say the pandemic has highlighted the need for strong support.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Book shows that in 2019, 14% of Maine children were living in poverty, although that number is down from 2010, but 6% of children lacked health insurance, more than in 2010.

Helen Hemminger, research and KIDS COUNT associate for the Maine's Children Alliance, said bold policies are needed.

"It's clear that the pandemic has laid bare existing issues or economic disparities or racial divides," Hemminger asserted. "But we're looking to do more to make it better for those who face so much, particularly families with young children."

According to the latest Census Bureau national survey, Black and Latino households with children reported far more concerns than white households on issues ranging from mental health and accessing health insurance to ability to pay their rent or mortgage on time and put food on the table.

The American Rescue Plan included an expansion of the Child Tax Credit, from $2,000 annually to up to $3,600 per child depending on their age.

Hemminger pointed to data that showed 91% of Maine kids will benefit from the tax credit.

"We expect 10,000 children to be lifted up out of poverty due to the child tax credits that are coming forward next month in July," Hemminger predicted. "We have currently about 33,000 children in poverty."

Leslie Boissiere, vice president of external affairs for the Foundation, urged policymakers to make the child tax credit permanent. She added children who grow up in poverty often have worse health outcomes.

"They live in substandard housing that has issues like mold and lead that go untreated," Boissiere explained. "Lower-income families live in poorer neighborhoods that have poorer-resourced schools, so their education outcomes tend to be worse."

Even before COVID-19 disrupted education, 13% of Maine high school students were not graduating on time, and last fall, nearly half of Maine families where at least one person planned to pursue higher education canceled their plans or reduced their class load.

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
Some tenants' advocates would like Virginia's new budget proposal for American Rescue Plan funding to include money for low-income renters to hire lawyers for eviction cases. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …


Social Issues

ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …

Social Issues

DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …


The Blackfeet Reservation is one of seven tribal reservations in Montana. (Kushnirov Avraham/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …

Social Issues

CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …

A new pilot program in Texas is teaching college students about the agriculture industry and career options they might not otherwise have considered. (ionlfox/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …

Social Issues

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …

Health and Wellness

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Local health departments that rely heavily on Advanced Practice Registered Nurses say the costly contract requirement that they be …

 

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