Economic Justice Update The House dropped its budget last week, and there is much better news on the House side. It features a number of our economic priorities. Increase to TANF
- $11.8 million for an 8 percent increase to programs. (The TANF grant, workfirst, etc.)
- $5.1 to raise asset limits to $10,000 for a vehicle and $6,000 in savings;
- $2.6 million for a $10-a-month stipend for food in child-only cases; and
- $1.3 million to change the means testing for kids in kinship care on TANF (living with a relative not their parent)
The full increase is about $20.7 million in total, but only about 50% of those funds go to programs like the TANF grant. The net increase to the TANF grant program specifically is about 6%, rather than the originally estimated 12%. HENS/ABD The funding mechanism for HENS and ABD has been doubled in the House budget, but HENS specifically is more than halved ($12 million to $5 million) in the Senate budget. There are also additional revenue sources in the House budget that help cover the costs of human services:
- 7% capital gains tax with exemptions below $25,000.
- Includes a carbon tax with most of the funds going to green and human services.
- Closes the big oil loophole. (http://www.sightline.org/series/big-oils-accidental-tax-loophole/)
- Removes a preferential tax rate for prescription drug resellers.
On the Senate side, we seem stuck with the property taxes method. That said, Sen. Braun has sponsored both a carbon and an excise tax, and Democrats seem fairly united around the capital gains tax so with enough attention it’s still within the realm of possibility. The All-In coalition is encouraging op-eds.