At the Allies, Issues, and Action meeting on Tuesday, September 23, Renell Weathers with the Michigan League of Public Policy addressed how the State of Michigan’s legislative policies affect cities across the State with a special focus on Wayne County and the City of Detroit. She began with sharing the policy areas that the MLPP focuses on which are Budget, Tax, Healthcare, Poverty Reduction, Jobs and the Economy. She particularly discussed the policies concerning the Family Independence Program (FIP) formally known as Cash Assistance, Education, and Health disparities in the County.
As it relates to the Cash Assistance program she discussed the negative effects of the 48th month rule on families and how the 2011 policy change made nearly 60% of families in Michigan not eligible for Cash Assistance anymore. In regards to education, each student across the State is expected to receive a base of $7251 for the 2014 school year however that number is significantly lower than the 2009 distribution of $7361 and inflation has not been included in the $7251 distribution rate. Lastly, she discussed how 167,000 children in Wayne County are not receiving dental assistance even though the number one illness among children is tooth ache and decay. While there is still much room for improvement, she did comment that the new Healthy Michigan program has assisted nearly 385,000 families with healthcare and that of course is a step in the right direction for our State and families.
As the legislature continues to work on issues, the Michigan League for Public Policy recommends that they continue to focus on restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit, providing programming for children 0-3, reinvest in people and communities, and enact tax reform. More information regarding the work of the MLPP can be found at www.mlpp.org.