2016 Policy Priorities
Our 2016 Policy priorities are designed to help ALICE - Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed - households - the 40% of Michigan residents who are working and paying taxes, but still struggling to make ends meet.
When ALICE’s children lack access to quality care and education before they go to kindergarten, they can fall behind, and some children who fall behind early never catch up. Early investment can help prevent future burden on the education system and other social services.
Kids from ALICE households cannot prepare for a successful career and life without a quality education. ALICE student achievement and reading by third grade depends upon support for high standards, improved teacher quality, and excellent schools.
Without opportunities for post-secondary education or training, members of ALICE households become trapped in minimum wage jobs. Adults who cannot make a good living cannot significantly contribute to Michigan’s economy.
ALICE needs an easy, non-bureaucratic mechanism to connect with faith-based, nonprofit and public resources to address basic needs before their needs become costly emergencies. The 2-1-1 website and hotline connect people with a statewide database of available health and human services needed during difficult times.
TIER TWO PRIORITIES
- STATE EITC/CHILD TAX CREDIT/HOMESTEAD TAX CREDIT
ALICE households' budget shortfall expands when tax credits are reduced, effectively raising each households taxes. Reductions in credits wide the income gap for ALICE households. Reward ALICE households for working and increase household stability with restoration of the state Earned Income Tax Credit.
- WORK SUPPORT (BENEFIT) RESTRICTIONS
Restrictions on work supports increase bureaucratic paperwork for ALICE households rather than helping those households become financially independent.
- HEALTHY KIDS DENTAL EXPANSION
Our largest populations of children from ALICE households should have access to dental services.
- CHILDREN'S HEALTH ACCESS PROGRAM (CHAP)
Stretched for time and resources, parents in ALICE households have difficulty navigating health services for their children. This can lead them to resort to the most costly care option - an emergency room. By leveraging existing health resources, CHAP clears a path for easy access to needed health-related services.
For information on our Policy Platform, contact Nancy Lindman, Director of Policy and Partnerships.