Helping Over Half a Million of MA's Working Poor

underpaid.jpgOver at Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, they have crunched some numbers about who will be affected by a Massachusetts restoration of the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour (returning to its 1968 value). The results are staggering: 

Increasing the minimum wage would give hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts workers a raise and provide them and their families with additional resources to pay for basic necessities. A full-time minimum wage worker in Massachusetts makes $16,000 in 2013, about $5,000 less (when adjusted for inflation) than he or she would earn if the minimum wage had maintained its value since 1968 (which was equal to about $10.72, or $21,440 a year, in today's dollars).

Increasing the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2016 would raise the wages of approximately 568,000 workers. 

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Fight Back on Unemployment Insurance

The Speaker (and even the Governor) continue to call for a "grand bargain" on minimum wage that would link a raise for hundreds of thousands of working poor to cuts in unemployment insurance.

The RaiseUp Coalition has taken a strong stance against this linkage.  

First, we will never trade off a raise for the working poor for cuts to those who are unemployed and struggling to get by.  This is bad economics as well as morally unjust.

Second, there is absolutely no evidence that any proposed changes will actually save significant money for the Commonwealth.

We know that we can win on the ballot so we are urging everyone to contact their representative and tell them not to support the so-called "grand bargain".  

You can read more about unemployment insurance here.  Then join our legislative campaign.

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Protecting Massachusetts Children

The Welfare Conference Committee is deciding what to include in the final welfare bill.  

Both the House and Senate bills would – 

  • Allow the state to impose work requirements on thousands of disabled parents and take away the benefits for their children if they can’t comply.
  • Deny public housing to many immigrants, including some Haitian earthquake survivors, domestic violence survivors, and crime victims with special visas, among many others.

In addition, the Senate bill would –

  • Require applicants for cash assistance to prove they have looked for work before they can get welfare benefits, even if they don’t have child care, money for transportation, or cell phone minutes.
  • Deny benefits to former recipients who reapply and can’t prove they complied with a welfare plan done months or years earlier when they received assistance.

 

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