Economic Justice

States that borrowed from feds to cover unemployment comp checks are about to owe interest

BY: - September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Ten states that struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic will face yet another challenge starting Monday: interest accruing on federal loans they relied on to cover payments to the unemployed. Collectively, those states — which include Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — owe the federal […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Anti-worker policies from the Snyder era are holding Michigan back

BY: - September 6, 2021

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the hard-fought victories unions have won for all working people and consider our path forward as we continue our work to defend and uplift workers everywhere.  Usually, union members would be marching together down Michigan Avenue today — but while COVID prevents us from gathering for a […]

Dems have pushed to end the ‘tampon tax’ for years. Now Republicans are warming to the idea.

BY: - September 1, 2021

For the past six years, Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan have introduced legislation that would end the sales and use tax on menstrual products.  But, each time the bills were introduced, they never garnered enough support from Republicans that the legislation would make it to the governor’s desk.  This year, state Reps. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper […]

Why wasn’t the pandemic worse? Federal funds and public programs, experts say.

BY: - August 31, 2021

When Effie Alofoje-Carr saw the stimulus payment from the American Rescue Plan Act hit her bank account this year, she cried.  “It was huge; it has saved our lives,” Alofoje-Carr, who lives in East Lansing with her husband and eight-year-old son, said of the stimulus checks that the federal government sent to residents across the […]

Supreme Court rejects eviction ban, increasing pressure to dole out rental aid money

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

COMMENTARY

Column: SNAP update will help fight hunger, especially in northern Michigan

BY: - August 27, 2021

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) keeps 270,000 Michiganders, more than 40%of them children, out of poverty every year and helps ensure that families have enough to eat.  SNAP’s positive impact has been limited, however, by an outdated basis for calculating benefits. President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced steps to modernize the program and increase […]

Wentworth calls on Whitmer to fire state unemployment head

BY: - August 26, 2021

Updated, 4:49 p.m., with comments from Whitmer’s office As the deadline for workers to claim federal unemployment benefits is set to run out in 10 days on Sept. 4, Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency, will testify before a state House panel.  Olson agreed to appear before the Oversight Committee […]

From housing to health care, LGBTQ+ people have been hit hard by the pandemic

BY: - August 26, 2021

Marwa ElShazly has battled the economic and personal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and says it’s taken a toll on her mental health. “I’ve been lucky enough to be working through the entirety of the pandemic, though I had to switch jobs because of furlough and ended up losing my health care for a few […]

Environmental justice advocates look to historic $3.5T spending bill for bold action

BY: and - August 25, 2021

Congressional Democrats and the Biden administration want to use their massive $3.5 trillion spending plan to help communities that have been devastated by environmental pollution and degradation. For years, activists have been pushing for government recognition of what’s known as environmental justice, the broad movement to provide restitution to communities that have suffered disproportionate harm. […]

COMMENTARY

Sarah Anthony: For Michigan, jobs and justice hinge on climate action

BY: - August 24, 2021

Michiganders are in the midst of what might be one of the most dangerous summers on record due to climate change. Prolonged drought is putting us at increased risk for wildfires. The warming of the Great Lakes means more extreme storms in our region. And heat waves in our urban centers like Detroit are predicted to become even deadlier. […]

COMMENTARY

Column: ‘Build Back Better’ federal budget charts course toward stronger, more equitable future

BY: - August 13, 2021

After debate and discussion that went until 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the U.S. Senate has voted to advance a budget resolution that lays the groundwork for Congress to craft and enact a slate of President Joe Biden’s proposed investments known as the “Build Back Better” plan. The Michigan League for Public Policy and our […]

Report: Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program

BY: - August 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years — and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how […]