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Current Legislation in Need of Your Advocacy
Community Services Block Grant
The federal Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) is Community Action’s core funding. These funds are tailored to the individual needs of each local Community Action Agency and their local service areas. CAAC supports:
- Reauthorization of the CSBG Act.
- Increased funding to match growing requirements for data collection and reporting.
Extension of the Child Tax Credit (CTC)
As Congress works to pass the president’s Build Back Better plan, it is critical that the Child Tax Credit be permanently extended so millions of children, especially children of color, can be lifted out of poverty. The CTC is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs this generation has ever seen — significantly reducing food insecurity and financial hardship for struggling American families. Failure to extend the CTC could double child poverty, increase childhood hunger and make it more difficult for working families to afford child care, school supplies and more.
- Permanent extension of the Child Tax Credit.
Early Childhood Education and Childcare
Community Action Agencies in Michigan educate thousands of children through Early Head Start, Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs. A rich learning environment is critical for future school and social success. Families also benefit through training in parent education; comprehensive health, nutrition, and social services; and program leadership and advocacy opportunities.
- Increasing funding for early childhood services, to implement continually evolving quality standards.
- Restoring income eligibility for GSRP to 300% of poverty.
- Continued funding of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Program in Michigan to provide expanded academic enrichment opportunities for children attending low-performing schools.
- Expanding access to childcare services for low-income families.
Food and Nutrition Services
When properly nourished, children learn and retain information better and adults are healthier, more positive and more resilient. Community Action Agencies in Michigan feed thousands of people every year through a wide variety of food-related services, including food pantries, Meals on Wheels, and congregate meals for seniors.
- Securing more Commodity Supplement Food Program slots for Community Action Agencies as allocated by the Michigan Department of Education.
- Expanding The Emergency Food Assistance Program’s (TEFAP) administrative funding to include costs of distributing “bonus” items.
Community Action Agencies in Michigan provide a wide range of services to assist older residents with tools to maintain self-sufficiency through their later years. CAAC supports the Silver Key Coalition’s efforts to increase state funding for in-home services that assist individuals and family caregivers in managing and/or performing necessary activities of daily living, including personal care, homemaking, chore assistance, home-delivered meals, minor home repairs and other needed services.
Michigan veterans are at risk for homelessness, unemployment and physical and mental disabilities. Treating those who served our country with respect and value is of the utmost importance. CAAC supports the expansion of available veterans programs such as Supportive Services for Veteran Families.
Michigan’s low-income families deserve decent, safe and affordable housing; and many Community Action Agencies offer programs that assist them in achieving homeownership while protecting those facing foreclosure and homelessness. Cultivating responsible homeownership and rentals is essential to growing our state’s economy.
CAAC supports enhancing policies that can help prevent homelessness and provide homebuyer education and mortgage counseling. Furthermore, we support state housing policies that foster the development of thriving communities for children, parents and seniors.
A dollar saved is a dollar earned. Community Action Agencies encourage financial independence by helping low-income Michiganders take ownership of their finances and household budgets.
- Expansion of national financial literacy programs.
- Returning the state Earned Income Tax Credit to 20% of the federal EITC.
- Expanding funding for and access to Individual Development Accounts.
- Funding for tax preparation services for low-income residents.
- Protecting consumers against predatory lending tactics.
Reducing the amount of energy used in our businesses and households benefits all of Michigan. Community Action Agencies energy services increase home values, put local contractors to work and reduce household utility expenses. Our partnerships with utility companies and our agency’s own fundraising events stretch public dollars even further.
- Preserving and promoting energy efficiency and home weatherization measures to lower the energy burden for low-income families and to increase conservation.
- Expanding energy efficiency programs for utilities that choose not to operate low-income energy programs on their own.
- Continuing the annual state appropriation of Federal LIHEAP funds for Weatherization efforts.
Full Participation in the Community and the Economy
Empowering people to participate in the community and in economic opportunities requires access to services like the internet and the ability to prove residency and citizenship. Seeking work, attending school and finding a place live all require identification and, increasingly, access to the internet.
- Expanded wireless and broadband access in underserved communities.
- Increased services to assist all citizens seeking identification documents (state ID, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, etc.).