Maine’s child poverty rate is increasing eight times faster than the national average. A bill in the Maine legislature could help bring those numbers down by increasing parents’ access to educational and training opportunities. Attend the LIFT 2.0 public hearing on Wednesday, February 14, and share your story with bill sponsors.
Between 2011 and 2015, the number of Maine children living in extreme poverty rose 8 times faster than the national average, increasing by 13.6%. While the majority of parents living in poverty work at least part-time, many are locked into low-wage or seasonal jobs, often due to a lack of education or training. Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) is sponsoring LD 1774, An Act to Reduce Child Poverty by Leveraging Investments in Families for Tomorrow (LIFT 2.0). The bill, an update to legislation introduced last session, aims to increase access to training and education, add more skilled people into Maine’s shrinking workforce, and increase families’ abilities to earn higher wages. Funds for LIFT 2.0 will come from existing federal programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). The bill would also provide support for childcare, transportation, and job coaches, helping parents provide a financially stable home for their families, while improving the opportunities for Maine’s most vulnerable children.
- Attend a public hearing before the Committee on Health and Human Services (HHS) Wednesday, February 14, at 3 pm in Room 209 of the Cross Building. Find tips on testifying at a hearing on the Legislature’s website. Can’t attend the hearing? You can email your testimony to HHS Committee Clerk Jill LaPlante.
- Call or email members of the HHS Committee, and urge them to support LD 1774.
- Share your stories. Maine Equal Justice Partners is collecting stories from people who could benefit from this legislation. If LD 1774 could help your family, please complete this survey. Know someone who might benefit? Share the survey with them.