New York lawmakers consider anti-child poverty measures
Democratic state lawmakers are calling for ways to address child poverty in New York. Some Republicans worry proposals in the budget could have the opposite effect.
Advocates and state lawmakers are calling for an expansion of New York’s child tax credit to cover all families with kids regardless of their age.
Jason Cone of the Robin Hood Foundation points to the effect of inflation on family budgets and the end of federal pandemic aid for food.
“Those are all reasons why the state has seen better tax revenue needs to re-invest and support those families,” Cone said. “They need those tax credits.”
Expanding child tax credits in New York is now part of the state budget negotiations in Albany, and state Sen. Andrew Gounardes says the measures proposed so far in the plan are falling short.
Lawmakers are expected to introduce their own formal budget plans next week, with a final deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul expected by April 1.
“I know many folks were concerned that there was not enough or anything done to address child poverty in the executive proposal,” Gounardes said. “So many of us are making a very strong push.”
Expanding the child tax credit in New York could aid 120,000 children in the state, supporters of the measure have said. Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center said this could have a long-lasting imprint for low-income families.
“Raising incomes will mean families and children are less stressed and have a better opportunity to address their health, their housing and their basic needs,” Breslin said.
Studies have shown the since-expired federal expansion of the child tax credit resulted in 2.9 million being lifted out of poverty.
“We know that providing tax relief for families with children is very clearly good for children, families and the poverty rate,” Breslin said.
Republicans in the state Legislature are worried with other proposals, like raising the state’s minimum wage. Republican state Sen. George Borrello says a higher wage could lead to fewer job prospects for low-income kids.
“There are high school and college age kids from poor rural areas and quite frankly raising the minimum wage will mean less of those kids being employed,” he said.
Republicans are advancing their own proposals to reduce the cost of living, regulations and taxes.
“I’m hopeful there will be some compromise when it comes to things that are good for all New Yorkers like cutting taxes and making New York a safer place to live,” Borrello said.
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