safety net

COMMENTARY

Column: Michigan has had a sea change in childcare

BY: - September 25, 2021

In less than a week, I will be retiring after more than three decades of working to improve public policy for Michigan children and families. And as I take one last look at the policy landscape before my personal role in it changes, I can unequivocally say that the appreciation of the importance of childcare […]

Foster care grads needed lawmakers’ help during COVID. That didn’t come until the last minute.

BY: - September 24, 2021

Michael Davis-Thomas has big plans.  The 24-year-old from Bay City wants to run for office — at first, for the state House or Senate and, ultimately, for president. But before he can fully dedicate himself to a life in politics, Davis-Thomas has to figure out how he’s going to afford the $2,000 he needs to […]

Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.

BY: - September 9, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Community is the only way to help Michigan kids

BY: - September 2, 2021

Child abuse and neglect are not a family or household problem. They’re not a racial, political or socioeconomic problem. They’re an every-community problem. If an entire community is unable to coalesce around the safety and well-being of all children, the health of the community suffers. Left unchecked, maltreatment of even a single child can come […]

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 […]

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 […]

Study: Utility shutoffs help drive evictions in Michigan

BY: - August 3, 2021

Updated, 3:31 p.m., 8/3/21 As a national moratorium expired Saturday that will likely trigger a massive wave of evictions, a new report shows that utility shutoffs are a big reason renters in Michigan face evictions and subsequent homelessness. The Lansing-based Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) study outlines policy recommendations for how lawmakers should deal […]

Federal eviction ban to expire Saturday after attempt to extend it fails

BY: - July 30, 2021

7:33 p.m., 7/30/21: This story has been updated after the extension failed WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats unsuccessfully scrambled on Friday to extend federal legal protections against eviction that will expire on Saturday. The end of the eviction moratorium jeopardizes housing security for millions of Americans who are struggling both to pay their rent and to access billions […]

‘There was no concern for my life’: Families losing homes despite federal eviction moratorium

BY: - July 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The national moratorium on evictions, as well as rental assistance programs, weren’t enough protection to keep Katrina Chism and her family in their suburban Atlanta home when money got tight. Chism was laid off twice during the COVID-19 pandemic, and when she fell behind on rent, she faced an initial eviction notice. She was […]

States still lag in getting assistance to struggling renters, federal data shows

BY: - July 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — State and local officials disbursed $1.5 billion in rental assistance during June — more than during the entire previous five months — to help households falling behind on rent and utilities, according to U.S. Treasury data released Wednesday. That progress in getting slow-moving federal dollars to struggling renters comes as the Biden administration […]

Whitmer vetoes GOP bill axing pandemic jobless benefits

BY: - July 21, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday vetoed a Republican bill that would have ended emergency unemployment benefits in Michigan. Under House Bill 4344, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond), Michigan would have followed what 26 red states have done and ended the $300 per week supplemental federal jobless benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic that has left […]

COMMENTARY

Column: It’s time for billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes

BY: - July 19, 2021

Imagine a world where we aren’t asked to choose between funding our schools and other crucial public services like fixing our roads and bridges, cleaning up our water and ensuring everyone has access to food, shelter, and health care.  Imagine living in a country where our government at all levels works to ensure everyone’s needs […]