Protest Gov. Dayton’s budget Wed. Mar. 12, 8:00 a.m. (room change)

Gov. Dayton’s budget insults poor families
Gov. proposes $600 million giveaway to the rich and corporations, keeps 70,000 MN kids in Extreme Poverty.

Protest Governor Dayton’s budget
Wednesday, March 12
8:00 a.m.
State Capitol – room G-15 Room 123
This is the Senate hearing where Dayton’s Department of Human Services officials will be presenting his budget. The Welfare Rights Committee will testify at the hearing, which starts at 8:30 or 9 am – stick around for that if you can!

Call Gov. Dayton now!

  • Use the surplus to help the poor: Raise the welfare grants!
  • The state has stolen TANF [tan-ef] money for years: Pay it back! Raise the grants!
  • No more tax breaks to the rich and corporations.

Background info:
On March 6, Gov. Dayton released his overall 2014-2015 budget proposal. While many details are missing, this is what is clear: Dayton is giving tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. At the same time, he is doing nothing for the poorest of the poor in this state.

His budget rolls back sales taxes on businesses (those poor telecommunications giants) and gives estate tax breaks to people who have $100,000 to throw around. The tiny tax breaks for the rest of us are insulting – for example schoolteachers can deduct up to $250 of their out-of-pocket expenses on classroom supplies and books. Meanwhile, one of his few expenditures is over $30 million to prisons – in part because of “Prison Population Growth.”

He increases the Working Family Credit…the question is, where is the money coming from? For years Working Family Credit has been partially funded by money that is meant for the poorest of the poor: the TANF fund.

The TANF fund is the federal annual block grant that the state of Minnesota gets to run the state’s welfare program for poor families. Over the years, money has been taken from the TANF fund to replace what used to be, and what should be, General Fund spending. 2014 should be the year to reverse this awful trend. Instead the governor’s budget preserves the status quo.

The annual federal TANF block grant should be used 100% for poor families’ grants. The current situation is untenable – in fact, it is an outrage. The Minnesota Family Investment Plan, or MFIP, is the Minnesota’s welfare program for poor families who can’t get unemployment insurance. MFIP cash grants for the poorest families have not been increased since 1986 – 28 years ago. The cost of living has more than doubled since 1986. The monthly cash grant for a family of two is $437 per month – not enough to pay rent for legal housing in most towns (much less other needs).

These low cash grants mean that 70,000 MN kids are living in Extreme Poverty – over 60% below the federal poverty level. This extreme poverty has a devastating effect on children, who are the majority of MFIP recipients. Yet the governor, in his budget proposal, ignores these children and the stress and misery they endure every single day.

So please call Governor Dayton today.


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