1. Special call-in Day to Governor Dayton
Wednesday, Jan. 29
The day that we deliver hundreds of postcards to the governor’s office
Call Governor Mark Dayton:
Call in the morning if you can!
— 70,000 Minnesota kids live in “extreme poverty,” because welfare grants haven’t been increased since 1986 – 28 years ago!
— Use the budget surplus to pay back the money taken from TANF (“tan-ef”) over the years.
— Use TANF money for TANF families: Raise the grants NOW.
2. Postcard delivery to governor – Jan. 29
Empty plates at the governor’s office to demand:
Dayton, serve up the surplus! Take action for poor women and families!
Wednesday, Jan. 29
Governor’s office in the State Capitol
Wednesday, January 29 the Welfare Rights Committee (WRC) will have a press conference in front of Governor Mark Dayton’s office. Dayton will be presented with close to 900 postcards, served up on paper plates, demanding that he take action to increase the welfare grants in 2014.
For too long the poorest families have paid for budget shortfalls. Now there is a surplus, and it should go the poorest of the poor. Currently there are over 70,000 Minnesota children living in EXTREME poverty, because grants for families on MFIP (Minnesota’s welfare program) have not been increased since 1986…28 years ago.
The WRC will be there to say, “Dayton, serve up the surplus to those who need it most.” WRC is putting forward a bill that would provide for immediate increases in MFIP payments. The bill would move up the start-date of our housing allowance and family cap repeal that passed last session. It also puts federal TANF funds back into the pool for TANF families – instead of the current practice of TANF being used for the General Fund or other programs generally focused on the poor that were once paid for by the state.
This week: Two days of events at the Capitol to “Raise the Welfare Grants!”
We are plugging away with our effort to substantially increase the welfare grants in the state of Minnesota. We are getting signers on our bill to “Double the Grants” (18 House members have signed on so far), and it will be introduced soon in the House and the Senate. Governor Dayton did not include a grant increase in his budget proposal, so we have to count on the House and the Senate to do the right thing after 27 years without an increase to the welfare grants.
This week, we have 3 public actions. Please read below for more info, and try to attend as many as you can!
1. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 8:30 a.m. – Public Testimony on Gov. Dayton’s budget in the Senate
Senate Health and Human Services Finance Division
State Capitol Building, ++Room changed to 123
Gov. Dayton’s budget did not include a welfare grant increase. Nor did it undo any of the cuts to welfare that families have been suffering under for the past several years. The Senate Health and Human will be taking public testimony on the governor’s budget proposal on Wednesday morning. The Welfare Rights Committee will be testifying. If you are interested in testifying on Governor Dayton’s Health and Human Services budget in the Senate HHS Finance Division, here is what you have to do: “If you would like to testify, please email your name, organization, and the topic area for your testimony to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Tuesday, January 29th.”
2. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 10:00 a.m. – Public Hearing on Gov. Dayton’s budget in the House
House Health and Human Services Finance Committee
State Office Building, Room 200
Please join us to let the Reps know what we think of the Governor’s budget proposal! ++update Jan. 29 – testimony will be next week.
3. Thursday, Jan. 31, 2:45 p.m. -$437 Challenge/Raise the Grants action outside the House Chambers at the Capitol
We will know of any changes to this on Monday night. We’ll let the list know if it changes.
Join us in our final push to get more Representatives to sign on to our bill to “Double the Grants.” Also, we will be asking Reps to take part in our $437 Challenge – seeing who could live on $437 per month. We will hold a press conference at 2:45. As the Representatives enter the chamber, we will give them information and ask them to sign our bill. This is a great opportunity to hold a sign, learn the process and take a stand!
Dayton budget proposal fails some the poorest families in MN.
MN welfare grants will be essentially unchanged after 27 years without an increase.
January 22, 2013
Today, Governor Mark Dayton presented his 2014-2015 budget to the public. It goes a small way to undo some of the tax inequality that poor and working people have been suffering under – but his proposals are only a drop in the ocean compared to the massive tax breaks rich have enjoyed year after year. And once again, poor and working people will see little relief to all of the cuts inflicted on us under the past administrations.
A shameful part of the budget proposal is how it fails the poorest families in Minnesota, by not calling for a substantial increase in MN’s welfare cash grants.
Welfare grants have not been increased since 1986 – 27 years ago. Meanwhile the cost of living has DOUBLED since 1986. In 1986, a family of two (a parent and a child) received $437 per month in cash to live on. Today, that same family of two still only gets $437. One or two percent is not enough – by rights the welfare grants should be doubled.
The governor pays back the school funding shift, but it is also time to talk about paying back the TANF funding shift. TANF is the yearly block grant that MN gets from the federal government to fund its welfare program. Year after year TANF dollars have been raided to supplant general fund spending. Right now, there is almost enough money in the federal TANF block grant to double the grants in 2013, if it were use for poor families.
Especially in these tough economic times, welfare is a working person’s issue. When Unemployment Insurance runs out, parents are shocked to find out that they still don’t qualify for welfare; because they are “not poor enough.” In most cases, welfare is the unemployment insurance for those of us who have no choice but to work seasonal jobs and temporary jobs.
Even doubling the grants would keep MN families below the poverty level. Currently, families on MFIP (Minnesota’s welfare program for families with children) live 70% below the federal poverty level. If the grants were doubled, we would still be 30% below the poverty level. That is why we say doubling the grants is only a start.
The Welfare Rights Committee, supported by dozens of other organizations, has a bill to double the welfare grants. The bill will be introduced soon. We don’t care what the governor’s budget says; we will call on legislators to do the right thing. It is time to use TANF money for TANF families. It is time to double the grants.
27 years is too long! Give back the TANF money to TANF families. Increase the welfare grants in the state of Minnesota.
Call-In to Governor Dayton: Raise the Welfare Grants!
Wednesday October 17th through Friday, Oct 19th
Flood Dayton’s Phone Lines!
Tell Governor Dayton it is time to Raise the Welfare Grants! 26 years is too long!
We are asking Governor Dayton to stand with families in poverty and take the lead on raising the monthly welfare assistance grants. Ask Governor Dayton to put a grant increase in his budget proposal for the 2013 legislative session.
Welfare grants to support families with children have not been increased in Minnesota for the past 26 years! The last grant increase was in 1986.
The state has the money for a grant increase. In 2011, only 28% of the TANF( Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) block grant that is given to the state for welfare actually went directly as cash grants to the parents and children in need.
The assistance grant for a family of 2:
In 1986 = $437 a month
In 2012 = $437 a month
If the grants were adjusted to the cost of living they would be double the amount.
The past decade of state budget deficits have been taken out on poor and working people with billions in cuts to Health and Human Services, while the richest have not paid a dime!