CLASP Work Supports Newsletter - June 2013
July 01, 2013
Work Supports Newsletter
In this Issue:
CLASP In Focus Blog Postings
JUNE 25, 2013By Helly Lee
Most SNAP recipients are either already working or are not expected to work because they: are children or senior citizens; have a disability; care for a family member who is disabled; or care for a child under six years old while another household member is working. However, SNAP does have several provisions designed to encourage individuals who are not working to enter the workforce. Policies must invest in SNAP and strengthen the supports available to low wage workers and not impose restrictive work requirements that do not help SNAP recipients find living-wage jobs.
As part of Benefits Access for College Completion, CLASP and Young Invincibles teamed up to develop a new guide for community college leadership, faculty, and staff that shows how to connect their students to health coverage. This guide includes information about:
JUNE 28, 2013
By Helly Lee
Yesterday, the Senate voted and passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) by a bipartisan vote of 68-32. Vice President Joe Biden – who typically only participates in critical legislative discussions -- presided over the historic vote in the Senate to pass an immigration bill that provides a path to citizenship for nearly 11 million immigrants. While we have deep concerns about some portions of the bill, it is a critical step in the effort to reform our immigration system.
See CLASP"s New Infographic: The (S.744) Path to Citizenship
JUNE 26, 2013
Last week, the House of Representatives rejected the Farm Bill by a 195-234 vote. The bill, which usually enjoys support from both sides of the aisle, was defeated by an unlikely -- and bi-partisan -- coalition of those who opposed the deep cuts of more than $20 billion to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and those who thought that the bill did not go far enough in cutting nutrition programs and agricultural subsidies.
In particular, the final straw for many supporters of SNAP was an amendment introduced by Representative Steve Southerland (R-FL) and passed at the last minute. Some have described this amendment as allowing states to impose "work requirements" on SNAP recipients, but that is deeply misleading.
JUNE 24, 2013
The city of New York recently announced a plan to test the effects of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income childless workers. The four-year pilot program will offer up to $2,000 in refunds for three consecutive years to participants earning $26,000 per year or less. The city is in the process of developing the details of the pilot, including phase-in and phase-out tax rates and age qualifications. While federal legislation has attempted to expand the EITC for childless workers, the New York City pilot program is the most promising new development in promoting employment and increased income for low-wage workers regardless of family status.
JUNE 21, 2013
By Helly Lee
Over a hundred amendments were considered in just the two days it took for the House to debate and ultimately reject the Farm Bill by a final vote count of 195-234. The bill included $20.5 billion in reductions to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which would have cut nearly 2 million people from the program and reinstated outdated rules that prevent recipients from saving.
JUNE 18, 2013
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the health care reform law known commonly as “Obamacare”—individuals will have new insurance options starting January 1, 2014. The law will also make having health coverage a legal requirement.
Reports & Publications from Colleague Organizations
Training: Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Benefit Restrictions Beyond Those in Senate Immigration Bill Would Jeopardize Legalization for Many and Risk Severe Hardships for Others, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book, KIDS COUNT Data Center
House Wisely Rejects Farm Bill with Stunning, Extreme Provision to Pay States to Cut Families Off SNAP Because They Can’t Find Jobs, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
A Stronger Safety Net for America's Children, First Focus
If you have news you want to share with your colleagues around the country in this Newsletter, let us know.
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The Work Supports Newsletter is a monthly update that summarizes CLASP's work on safety net programs that include cash assistance (TANF), nutrition supports (SNAP), refundable tax credits, health insurance, child support enforcement and child care subsidies.