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    by Kimberly James   A pair of tax law changes that would help residents account for the costs of raising children are under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly. Proposals include permanently increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit to 41.5% of the federal EITC and implementing a child tax credit that would allow households $600 per child for up to three children. This would help Connecticut families, as CT Voices for Children reported, where the average cost per year for raising a child in the state is $16,990. “Low- and moderate-income households in Connecticut are working hard but barely making ends meet each month – if not falling behind,” Lisa Tepper Bates, president and CEO of United Way of Connecticut, told The Center Square. “Increasing the state earned income tax credit and establishing a Connecticut child tax credit will provide an important source of flexible income to meet gaps in essential family budget areas including child care, rent, food, transportation, and medical expenses.” The United Way of Connecticut’s ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) project found that it cost $90,000...
    The White House is unveiling new policies to bring down gas prices following President Joe Biden’s March announcement that the administration would release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Tuesday’s announcement, coming as Biden visits an Iowa ethanol plant, will be an Environmental Protection Agency waiver allowing the summer sale of E15, gas blended with ethanol. E15 is usually barred from summer sales due to air pollution rules, but the White House believes that its use will lower gas prices by 10 cents a gallon.  “At the end of the day prices are too high, American families are feeling that,” Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, said Monday. “We need to take every action we can to try to make things more affordable and provide some relief as the Fed acts the way we anticipate it will.” Average gas prices have already dropped from $4.33 a month ago to $4.11 on Monday, but clearly more relief is needed. Inflation remains a major economic concern for people in the U.S., and a major political concern for the...
                      by Scott McClallen  Applications are now open for a bipartisan $350 million grant program to support more than 8,000 child care professionals. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the launch of the Child Care Stabilization Grant on Monday. “Childcare is the backbone of a strong economy and childcare professionals and programs go above and beyond every day to care for our kids, helping them learn and grow in a safe environment,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I was proud to put childcare businesses and professionals first in the bipartisan budget I signed in September. By bringing both parties together, we were able to put Michiganders first and deliver every childcare professional a $1,000 bonus in recognition of their incredible sacrifices over the last 18 months, expand low or no-cost care to 105,000 kids, and help providers improve their programs. Countless working parents rely on childcare, and without the tireless, often thankless work of providers and professionals, working families would not be able to get back to work and pursue their potential.” In September, Whitmer...
    Eva Longoria Sparkles in Daring One-Shoulder Gown at LACMA Gala NBA photo of the day: Best of the 2021-22 season Travis Scott is mourning the eight young people who died during a mass casualty incident in Houston at his annual Astroworld Festival on Friday night. © Provided by People MTV Video Music Awards, Arrivals, New York, USA - 20 Aug 2018 Speaking out on his Instagram Stories on Saturday evening, the rapper, 29, told fans he is hoping to reach the victims' families. "I just want to send out prayers to the ones that was lost last night. We're actually working right now to identify the families to assist them through this tough time," he said. "My fans really mean the world to me, and I always want to leave them with a positive experience." Scott — who was arrested in 2017 for allegedly inciting a riot during a concert in Arkansas and later pled guilty to disorderly conduct — faced accusations from festival goers on Saturday who claimed he continued to perform even after seeing distraught and injured...
    Travis Scott spoke out for the first time Saturday night after least eight people died and hundreds were injured during his concert at Astroworld Festival on Friday. He seemingly defended himself while also issuing his condolences to those who lost their loved ones at the show. 'My fans… really mean the world to me and I always want to leave them with a positive experience,' Scott, 29, said on his Instagram stories Saturday. 'Anytime I can make out anything that's going on, ya know, I stop the show and you know, help them get the help they need. I could just never imagine the severity of the situation.' The crowd at the Houston-based music festival surged toward the stage during Scott's performance, knocking other concertgoers over and squeezing them together so tightly that they could not breathe or move their arms. 'To the ones that was lost last night, we're working right now to ID the families so we can help assist them through this tough time,' the rapper shared. 'I'm honestly just devastated… I could never imagine anything like this...
    SPARROWS POINT, Md. (WJZ) —  Last year, a Sparrows Point father decided to make it his mission to help more people adopt children by starting a non-profit. “I decided to be an advocate for adoption,” said David Marshall, the founder and CEO of Journey to Josiah, named after his son who he adopted in 2017. READ MORE: WATCH: Mayor Brandon Scott Set To Provide COVID-19 Update ThursdayHe began building the non-profit in November 2020 after he took to Facebook to talk about his adoption process. “I told my adoption journey on Facebook Live and I got an amazing response,” said Marshall. “And then when I said I adopted him as a single gay man, people were just mind blown about that.” Now, he is working full-time to help families adopt and is currently building up the non-profit. He said it will help people by answering their questions about adoption, get them connected with resources and will also eventually work with prospective parents to get them adoption grants. READ MORE: Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley Wins Second Term, Steven Strawn Concedes RaceHe also...
    COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City hosted a drive-thru, pop-up food bank. It was an effort to help struggling families. The Denver nonprofit We Don’t Waste teamed up with King Soopers to give families a variety of fresh food. READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Providers Plan Clinics To Vaccinate Children (credit: CBS) READ MORE: Robert Earl Glasper III Accused Of Groping Male Passenger, Exposing Himself On Flight From Sacramento To Denver International AirportMost of the families heard about the event from their children’s school. One mother told CBS4 it really helped. “I’m not working, the only person who’s working is my husband. So this is a huge help for my family and I can tell it’s not just for me, it’s for a lot of people.” MORE NEWS: Colorado Is 'Oh So Close' To Seeing Northern Lights This Halloween WeekendWe Don’t Waste hosts about six to eight markets a month which serve thousands of people.
    A student works on her name tag in a second and third grade combo class during the first day of school at Laguna Niguel Elementary School in Laguna Niguel, CA on Tuesday, August 17, 2021.Paul Bersebach | MediaNews Group | Getty Images Families with children may more relief to look forward to in the coming years, thanks to the Democrats' $3.5 trillion budget plan. House Democrats passed the budget resolution on Tuesday, meaning that the party can begin to write the details of the plan. They hope to pass it via reconciliation, a process that would mean they can push the budget through without any Republican votes. The outline that lawmakers are beginning with would invest trillions of dollars to boost the social safety net for families through programs and services such as an expanded child tax credit, childcare benefits for working parents, free pre-K and more. More from Invest In You:How to get monthly child tax credit without a permanent addressLack of workers hurts small business ability to keep up with demandHow this 26-year-old TikTok creator makes over $100,000...
    (CBS4) – Starting this summer, almost every family in Colorado will receive monthly checks of at least $250 for a year. You can thank Sen. Michael Bennet. A child tax credit bill Colorado’s senior senator introduced 5 years ago was included in the American Recovery Act that President Biden just signed into law. Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS) Single parents with incomes of up to $75,500 and married couples with incomes of up to $150,000 will receive a $3,600 tax credit per child for children under age 6 and a $3,000 tax credit for children 6 to 18 years old. The money will be paid out monthly and is expected to lift 57,000 kids in Colorado out of poverty and cut the national child poverty rate by nearly 50%. READ MORE: DA: Denver Broncos Melvin Gordons DUI Blood Test Obtained On False Premise Kelly Shanley is among those who will benefit most. She’s a single mom with two kids who struggles to make ends meet. “I want my kids to be able to have things as little as, you know,...
    After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to an effort to vote on increasing direct payments to $2000, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke on the Senate floor demanding they get it done this week. The push to increase payments to people struggling in the middle of the pandemic has bipartisan support — President Donald Trump said last week he supports it, President-elect Joe Biden said Monday he supports it, Sanders has been joined by both Democrats and Republicans in pushing for it in the Senate, and on Monday lawmakers in both parties came together to pass the measure in the House. Some Republican senators have indicated their support, while others like Marsha Blackburn have come out against it. Sanders said on the Senate floor Tuesday, “The working class of this country today faces more economic desperation than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s. And working families need help now.” “It is time for the Senate to step up to the plate,” he continued, after commending the House for Monday’s vote. Sanders brought up the serious economic consequences of...
    As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches past the eighth-month mark, many of Maine's students, educators and parents continue striving for academic achievement absent the benefits of in-person instruction and faced with internet connectivity issues and other logistical challenges. “Educators are creating dynamic lessons, parents are providing important structure and support in homes, and students are working diligently to connect with their teachers and peers during remote learning,” Jason Judd, Ed.D., executive director of Educate Maine in Portland, told The Center Square by email. “Many families have limited or unreliable access to broadband to support remote learning. Maine needs to make a larger investment in broadband to help every student access their education safely.” Lack of day care options also tops the list of challenges amid the pandemic. “Maine families are struggling to find high-quality childcare in order to provide support for their children and balance their needs to work,” Judd said. “Maine needs to provide greater support for childcare providers and provide aid to help families afford childcare.” As the pandemic wears on, maintaining social connections is...
    Getty: "A mother from Guatemala, identified only by initials, L.J., who was separated from her two children after entering the U.S. in May of 2018, sits at a table after speaking to reporters about the separation during a news conference, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018, in Boston." During the final presidential debate Thursday night, impeached president Donald Trump claimed in response to a question on his family separation policy that he was "working very hard" to reunite children and parents he cruelly ripped apart. According to a recent NBC News report, hundreds of children separated from their parents before the policy officially began still haven’t been reunited with their deported parents, three years later. But during a court hearing earlier that same day, the federal judge who in 2018 ordered the reunification of separated families called on officials “to do more” to help family reunification efforts, Associated Press reports. In fact, advocacy groups that have been tasked by the court with reunification efforts say that officials are “only now offering assistance because of the ‘backlash’ from media reports about the number of kids still awaiting reunification...
    ST. HELENA (KPIX) — A self-help housing project in St Helena is building homes for lower-income families in one of the most expensive communities in the Bay Area. It’s also showing that there are some rewards that money can’t buy. Just steps from downtown St. Helena, the property on McCorkle Avenue could have been a wealthy person’s vacation home. Instead, a group of townhouses called “Brenkle Court” will be a shot at a new life for eight working-class families. Make no mistake –it is no gift. “I told ‘em at the beginning: forget about vacations — no vacations,” said project manager Larry Vermeulen. The retired builder said most of the self-help homebuilders working at Brenkle Court had zero experience coming in. The families are working on all eight homes at the same time and, since they are all identical, when workers learn a new building skill on one, it can be applied to the next seven houses. “It’s taken a lot of bent nails. When we started out we were pulling out as many nails as we were putting in,”...
    OXNARD, Calif. (KABC) -- Southern California communities are facing serious challenges. Putting food on the table shouldn't be one of them.ABC7's Feed SoCal program partners with local food banks to support our communities, particularly during this time of extraordinary need in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic."This has been really hard on the community, especially the working class," said James Hatcher, a 16-year-old high school student from Camarillo, "You see all these people working hard to organize this, but the people working the hardest are the families. They're trying to do everything they can to pull through this crisis. I'm glad they're getting the help they deserve, because they matter."Hatcher volunteers regularly with Food Share Ventura County."They have fresh produce and I've been working out on the gardens that supply these boxes," said Hatcher. "I feel an obligation. Our generation has to step up and we all have to help each other.""I don't think anybody should be ashamed about getting help. It doesn't feel like hand outs, it just feels like community support. It's inspiring to see."ABC7's Feed SoCal is...
    Gone, for now, are the days when retirees Bill and Mary Hill could do whatever they pleased. Since school started for their only grandchild, they’re not leisurely reading the morning newspaper, dawdling over a sudoku or staying holed up in their Colorado cabin to beat the Arizona heat. Instead, they greet 8-year-old Will at the gate of their residential community in suburban Phoenix every school day, often rolling up in their golf cart. Bill, 71, a former college sports administrator, and Mary, 70, who worked as a nurse practitioner, volunteered to keep Will five days a week and oversee distance learning after their son and daughter-in-law were required to report in person to the school where they teach.
    It’s not yet clear if the forms of economic activity resuming in most states will quickly reduce the nation’s high unemployment rates, but one thing is certain: it won’t happen without diapers. Most child care operators will not accept a baby or toddler unless parents supply disposable diapers. This has always been a barrier to employment for families in poverty. Pre-COVID-19, one in five U.S families reported missing work or school because they lacked the diapers required to leave their baby in child care. As so many people experience losses of income, that barrier becomes far more common. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is urging Congress to fund diaper assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) has been working behind the scenes to urge elected officials to take this step, because we know the economic and health consequences to children and families unable to access diapers. Even before the pandemic, the leaders of this effort, Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa were strong advocates for the one in three U.S. families who cannot afford an adequate supply of diapers for their children. Everyone...
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