Today's Date: March 3, 2021
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Children Defense Fund - New York: Budget Deal - Learn How it Will Affect Children

Children's Defense Fund-New York

Child Defender
A Call to Action

Dear Child Advocate,

While women are typically the major cornerstone of our families and a vital part of our economy, the fact remains that households headed by a woman are more likely to be poor. And, as the economy continues to decline, we are seeing more women than men in the workforce for the first time. Unfortunately, it appears that women are not earning at the same level as men.

There are many ways we can support women so they can improve their lives and the lives of their children. As Women's History Month comes to a close, we share information that directly affects women in New York.

—CDF-New York

In this edition of the CDF-NY Child Defender:
NY Budget Deal Reached
CDF-NY Releases Report on Refund Anticipation Loans
CDF-NY Director to Receive Award
Parents: Share Your Story of Uninsured Children

Massive Cuts to Child Care Still Planned
Economic Stimulus Package Helps Families and Children
Nutrition Assistance Expansion Helps Working Families with Children
Online Resources for New York City Women

NY Budget Deal Reached

CDF-NY is pleased that Governor Paterson, Speaker Sheldon Silver and Majority Leader Malcolm Smith made children a priority and negotiated a budget deal that recognizes the importance of protecting, educating and caring for New York’s most vulnerable children. While the lack of transparency in the process is very troubling and more could have been done to improve the lives of New York's children, the final proposal ensures that many critical services for children and their families will remain intact for now.

The state legislature will vote in the next two days on the final budget proposal. Highlights include:

  • Critical simplifications to the public health insurance enrollment processes;
  • Closure of underutilized youth jails and reporting centers, and small investment in alternative-to-detention programs;
  • Restoration of proposed cuts to tuition assistance and holding local school funding flat; and
  • Minimal reductions to children’s services that were slated to receive major cuts.

Since much of the funding to support education and children's services is coming from the federal stimulus package, a large portion of this budget proposal is not sustainable without federal support. New York's leaders must find ways to maintain these services beyond the two-year stimulus funding period.

CDF-NY Releases Report on Refund Anticipation Loans

A new CDF-NY report, "Avoiding the Pitfalls of Refund Anticipation Loans in New York," examines how tax preparation fees, Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) and other commercial products siphon money from the families that need money the most. The report finds that in New York, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service for tax year 2006:

  • 1.5 million lower-income taxpayers received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), but those who paid for tax preparation, RALs and other commercial products lost $199.5 million of their EITC benefits;
  • Tax preparation fees alone drained nearly $165.6 million in EITC benefits from the pockets of working families and individuals;
  • RAL fees totaled a $25.9 million loss in EITC benefits;
  • An estimated 259,000 EITC recipients—18.9 percent—purchased RALs compared to only 3 percent of non-EITC filers who took out RALs;
  • The typical EITC recipient who paid tax preparation and RAL fees lost 8.13 percent of his or her federal refund; and
  • Refund Anticipation Checks (RACs) alone drained $8 million from EITC benefits.

Step up and take action. The problems are solveable if everyone does his or her part. Read the full report and learn what you can do about Refund Anticipation Loans in your community.



CDF-NY Executive Director Emma Jordan-Simpson to Receive Urban Angel Award

On April 23, the Reverend Emma Jordan-Simpson will be the recipient of the Urban Angel Award presented by the New York Theological Seminary at their Annual Gala. The Urban Angel Award honors a select group of individuals who have made significant contributions to the health and vitality of urban communities throughout the greater New York area, around the nation, and throughout the world. CDF-NY congratulates Rev. Jordan-Simpson for her community leadership.

To learn more about the Reverend Emma Jordan-Simpson, visit the CDF Speakers Bureau.




Parents: Share Your Story of Uninsured Children

Have your children been uninsured sometime in the past three years? Do you live in Bedford-Stuyvesant or Crown Heights, Brooklyn? Tell your story!

Our vision is to guarantee every child affordable, comprehensive health and mental health coverage and services. We need your help to learn how to make it easier for families in your community to enroll. Attend a two-hour group discussion about your experience in obtaining health insurance for your children. Your feedback will be kept completely confidential.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
6:00—8:00 p.m.
Concord Baptist Church
833 Gardner C. Taylor Blvd. (formerly Marcy Avenue)
(between Putnam Ave. and Madison St.)
Room 101
Brooklyn, NY 11216
(Directions: Take the A to Nostrand Avenue)
Parents will receive free pizza and a free Metrocard.
Space is limited. Please call (212) 697-2323 to reserve your seat.

Massive Cuts to Child Care Still Planned

New York City continues to move ahead with plans to eliminate $62 million worth of child care services. In addition, the city has proposed additional cuts to non-mandated child care services. If these cuts go forward, more than 3,000 child care subsidies will be lost, and many child care centers will be at risk of closing.

Child care is a vital part of our economy. These cuts will affect us all. Act now and protect a vital service for children and working families.

Contact Mayor Bloomberg and urge him to make children a priority and stop the child care cuts.

Contact Governor Paterson at (518)-474-8390 and urge him to use the federal stimulus money to stabilize the child care system.


Economic Stimulus Package Helps Families and Children

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—the economic recovery law passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last month—contains numerous provisions that will stimulate the economy and help children and families.

It offers direct assistance (tax credits, unemployment benefits, food stamps) to lower-income families who will spend the money quickly to keep their heads above water. It offers temporary fiscal relief to states to help prevent painful budget cuts in essential services, which would further erode the economy. The act funds infrastructure investments, such as school repair projects, that will create jobs. It will make preventive investments in children before they face greater risks, such as family instability, homelessness, neglect and abuse.

Every step we take to improve the lives of children improves the lives of all of us. Learn how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will impact children and families. 

Nutrition Assistance Expansion Helps Working Families with Children

Thousands of working families with children may now be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly called the Food Stamps Program). Effective March 1, 2009, families that pay for child care and receive an income of up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (up to $42,400 for a family of four) are eligible for SNAP benefits.

The SNAP expansion is a step forward for New York's children and families. It will help lower-income working parents put food on the table and allow them more financial resources to pay bills, purchase health coverage and continue to provide their children with quality child care.

To learn more about the SNAP expansion, visit New York State's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance web site.

Online Resources for New York City Women

The New York City Commission on Women's Issues (CWI) recently launched a free, online tool to connect New York City women with services and support. The NYC Women's Resource Network features information on more than 1,000 organizations offering assistance with financial education, domestic violence, child care, health care, education, housing and more.

Children's Defense Fund-New York
15 Maiden Lane, Suite 1200 - New York, NY 10038
(212) 697-2323

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