Our public policy priorities support the shared goal of the State’s 23 community action agencies to help our vulnerable friends and neighbors who are living with low incomes – over 650,000 per year in virtually every city and town – to stabilize their lives and achieve economic mobility.
That goal, derived from the language of the federal law that created community action agencies more than 50 years ago, to be the nationwide mandated anti-poverty network, is pursued in part through advocacy for a variety of budget and legislative initiatives that, taken together, will strengthen individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities across the state…and make the economy work for everyone.
Through a broad-based education and advocacy effort, we look forward to working with allied organizations and legislators to affect change through four broad public policy goals:
Strengthening Families through Affordable and Accessible Early Education and Care
- Provide a substantial increase in the early education teacher salary line item
- Increase the state Head Start line item
- Support for programs that help connect families with early education and care
- Maximize the amount available to nonprofits to build early education and care facilities
Creating a Foundation for Ecomonic Opportunity
- Create a state line item to help low income households heat their homes through fuel assistance
- Fund an existing program to help low income homeowners cover rising water and sewer bills
- Provide more vouchers to low income renters
- Remove the cap on welfare benefits to families with newborn children
Bridging the Wage Gap
- Support the work of free tax preparation (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance – VITA) sites run by CAAs and others
- Expand the state earned income tax credit (EITC) to 30 percent of the federal EITC
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour
Strengthening the Human Services Infrastructure
- Create a line item to support CAAs and update the legislation authorizing their role as trusted local multi-service support and advocacy nonprofits
- Provide additional resources for the state’s legal assistance network
Please return to this page for regular updates as the legislative and budget processed unfold at the state house.