During the 2019 legislative session, we celebrated the successful passage of the bipartisan Invest in Tomorrow bill package – LD 1772 and LD 1774.
LD 1774, An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments so Families can Thrive (LIFT), and LD 1772, An Act to Secure Transitions to Economic Prosperity for Maine Families and Children (STEP), both passed unanimously and were signed by the Governor in June.
The bills offer key reforms that create more pathways out of poverty and hardship and into stability and prosperity. They represent Invest in Tomorrow’s first legislative steps toward reducing child poverty, and include the following strategic changes that were outlined in Invest in Tomorrow’s report:
A reduction in the “benefits cliff” families face when they transition off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) into employment;
Funds to support non-profits using a “whole-family” approach to case management;
Increasing access to TANF supports for families living in poverty; and
Improved access to the Parents as Scholars program.
The Invest in Tomorrow working group continues to gather input and data to help shape our plans for further policy changes to reduce child poverty. If you’d like to get involved or learn more about this work, please contact Ann Danforth at adanforth@MEJP.org.