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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

CT Day of Action raises awareness on 'benefits cliff'

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024   

Today, groups working with lower-income families in Connecticut are raising awareness about the state's "benefits cliff" with a day of action.

The benefits cliff is when a person might get a raise, have a kid with a part-time job, or some other income increase which then makes them ineligible for certain benefits. The changes can have severe impacts on communities and disproportionately affect families with children.

Stephen Monroe Tomczak, professor of social work at Southern Connecticut State University, said it is part of a larger workforce problem.

"People, particularly people of low income, are in a sense disincentivized to participate in the labor force and denied adequate jobs and income when they try to do that," Tomczak explained.

Several General Assembly budget bills could have dealt with the issue but most failed, which inspired today's action, a mock funeral procession to the governor's office to eulogize the bills, including the refundable Child Tax Credit, a housing voucher funding boost bill, and a bill eliminating the asset limit on the HUSKY C medical insurance program.

Social service advocates know the bills will resurface in next year's budget process.

Rose Ferraro, program lead of health justice policy advocacy for the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, said people are taking alternate steps like going to food banks or avoiding medical care to cover lost benefits.

"Folks will lose their rental assistance and then, they will sort of have to make some tough decisions," Ferraro noted. "'Do I put food on my table or do I make sure to pay rent?' And, so it becomes a sort of untenable position."

Ferraro added interwoven state and federal funding makes it hard to reach the core of the issues leading to benefits cliffs. One eulogized bill would have established a benefits cliff pilot program. For two years, it would have provided subsistence for people who've reached the benefits cliff.

Disclosure: The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Housing/Homelessness, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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