Michigan League for Human Services http://michiganradio.org en Commentary: Robbing the poor http://michiganradio.org/post/commentary-robbing-poor <p>A year ago, in their zeal to give businesses an enormous tax cut, the&nbsp;governor and the legislature considered virtually eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor. In the end, they didn&rsquo;t quite kill it. Instead, they merely took most of it away.</p><p>When they did, there was hardly a whimper of protest from the Democrats. About the only group which seemed upset was the non-profit and non-partisan Michigan League for Human Services.</p> Tue, 15 May 2012 14:22:51 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 7474 at http://michiganradio.org Commentary: Robbing the poor Report breaks down impact of earned income tax credit by legislative district http://michiganradio.org/post/report-breaks-down-impact-earned-income-tax-credit-legislative-district <p>The Michigan League for Human Services is pressuring lawmakers in Michigan who voted last year cut tax credits for working poor families.</p><p>The earned income tax credit - or EITC - gives people who would qualify for welfare an incentive to go to work instead. There&#39;s a federal credit, and one offered at the state level too. But the state credit was reduced last year in a budget-cutting move.</p><p>The reduced tax credit allows families who qualify to claim 6-percent of the federal earned income credit on their 2012 state taxes. In the past, families could claim 20-percent.</p><p>Judy Putnam is with the Michigan League for Human Services; a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group. She says the tax credits boost the economy because poor families spend the money right away.</p><p>&nbsp;&quot;Whereas a business or an upper-income tax payer you know getting tax breaks they don&rsquo;t automatically go and spend that money,&rdquo; Putnam said.</p><p><span style="line-height: 115%; font-family: &quot;Tahoma&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 12pt; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;">The&nbsp;organization has published a report it hopes will convince&nbsp;Republicans to restore the earned income tax credit.&nbsp;</span>The report outlines the legislative districts with the most residents affected by the change.&nbsp;</p><p>Here&#39;s the breakdown by <a href="http://saveoureitcdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/eitc_senate_merged_final.pdf">state senator&#39;s district</a>; while another set here break the data down <a href="http://saveoureitcdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/eitc_reps_merged_final.pdf">by state representatives.&nbsp;</a> Mon, 14 May 2012 19:28:18 +0000 Lindsey Smith 7463 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Percentage of low-birthweight babies on the rise in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/report-percentage-low-birthweight-babies-rise-michigan <p>A <a href="http://www.milhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RSwithAppendix.pdf">new report </a>shows Michigan has made some progress in improving maternal and infant well-being.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.milhs.org/">Michigan League for Human Services</a>&#39; Kids Count in Michigan project found a drop in the percentage of teen births over the past decade. Repeat births to teens and pre-term births have also decreased.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s not all good news. Jane Zehnder-Merrell, Kids Count in Mchigan project director, says the state saw worsening trends over the decade in babies weighing less than 5.5 pounds, or low-birthweight babies.</p><p>&quot;One of indicators that is of most concern is the 7 percent increase in low-birthweight, because that is what drives infant mortality particularly in the African American community.&quot;</p><p>African Americans babies had double the risk of being born too small, compared to white and Hispanic babies.</p><p>The report calls for more state investment in programs and policies to improve the well-being of mothers, and provide a stronger safety net for low-income families and their children.</p><p>Zehnder-Merrell says these data are not only indicators of how successful the next generation will be, but also &quot;how successful our state will be.&quot; Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:13:58 +0000 Jennifer Guerra 7256 at http://michiganradio.org Report: Percentage of low-birthweight babies on the rise in Michigan A correction: Decline in number of people receiving cash assistance http://michiganradio.org/post/correction-decline-number-people-receiving-cash-assistance <p>We have a correction to a story we recently aired regarding the declining number of people receiving cash assistance through a particular welfare program in Michigan.</p><p>Michigan Radio recently reported on a sharp decline in the number of people receiving aid through the Family Independence Program. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The program provides cash assistance to families with young children and pregnant women. The program is intended to help with living expenses, like rent and utilities.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 20:47:16 +0000 Steve Carmody 6990 at http://michiganradio.org An interview with Gilda Jacobs, President of the Michigan League for Human Services http://michiganradio.org/post/interview-gilda-jacobs-president-michigan-league-human-services <p>New rules for the 48-month limit on welfare cash assistance goes in effect on October 1. Twelve-thousand families will lose cash assistance, that includes upwards of 25,000 children. Gilda Jacobs, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services spoke with Michigan Radio&#39;s Jennifer White about what impacts the limit will in our state.</p> Fri, 30 Sep 2011 22:38:59 +0000 Jennifer White & Michigan Radio Newsroom 4389 at http://michiganradio.org An interview with Gilda Jacobs, President of the Michigan League for Human Services Decline of the Middle Class http://michiganradio.org/post/decline-middle-class <p>http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/michigan/local-michigan-973895.mp3</p><p><font><font color="#000000" face="Arial" size="2">You might expect that the Legislature, our well-paid, elected representatives, would be most keenly concerned with the economy and trying to figure out how to make things better.</font></font></p> Fri, 17 Jun 2011 16:44:48 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 2933 at http://michiganradio.org Decline of the Middle Class