Economic Security & Opportunity

Congress’ top 2017 priority should be poverty alleviation by EITC Expansion

January 27, 2017. As part of a campaign launched earlier this fall, and in recognition of EITC Awareness Day, over 60 New York-based organizations representing hundreds of thousands of residents throughout the state sent a letter to Senator Schumer urging him to stand strong in his support for expanding the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working adults not raising children in the home. This expansion would help 1.1 million workers (466,000 of whom are actually taxed into – … (read more)

Extending tax credit will help low-wage workers

January 10, 2017. The following op-ed by Ron Deutsch appeared in the Buffalo News.

Poverty. While it may not be the glitz and glamour of a flashy news story, it is a very real and pervasive issue for millions of Americans, particularly in New York State. As such, and especially in the aftermath of the 2016 election, it should be clear to members of both political parties that struggling workers face real challenges and need real solutions.

The need in … (read more)

Proposed EITC Expansion Is No Substitute for Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

March 18, 2016. The state’s EITC is an extremely important benefit to low- and moderate-income working families. There is considerable merit to Assemblyman Kolb’s proposed 50% enhancement to the state’s EITC, raising it form 30% to 45% of the federal EITC. However, the proposal is certainly not a substitute for raising the minimum wage. It is more appropriate to view the EITC and raising the minimum wage as complementary policies. See the complete brief issued jointly by the Fiscal Policy … (read more)

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

February 3, 2016. In its 26th annual New York State budget briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s FY 2017 Executive Budget.

The Executive Budget advances some bold and progressive proposals that well reflect the values and needs of New Yorkers. In particular, the governor has shown great leadership and vision in forcefully advocating for a first-in-the nation statewide $15 minimum wage. If enacted, the minimum wage increase would lift the incomes of … (read more)

No Permanent Extension of Business Tax Credits Without Permanent Extension of EITC/CTC Credits to Working Families

December 7, 2015. Senator Charles Schumer joined with leading anti-poverty advocates today to insist that Congress not permanently extend business tax credits without first making permanent tax credits to working poor families. The improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) that were enacted several years ago are extremely important to millions of working families across the country, including nearly 1.5 million children in 755,000 New York families. Yet these improvements are scheduled to expire … (read more)

Extend Tax Credits to the Poor

October 12, 2015. The following op-ed by Ron Deutsch appeared in the Times-Union.

Millions of Americans go to work each day, sometimes balancing multiple low-wage jobs, and yet they still struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families. The fact is, far too many hardworking Americans slip into poverty each year. I see this firsthand in my role at the Fiscal Policy Institute.

We do, however, have two powerful and effective tools that encourage work and help … (read more)

Testimony: The Establishment of a New York City Retirement Security Board

June 23, 2015. James Parrott testified at a New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor on the establishment of a New York City Retirement Security Board. The case for a retirement security fund and program for private-sector workers can be summed up as follows: New York City’s population is aging, many private sector workers do not have employer-provided retirement coverage, and our tax system rewards those who have employer-provided retirement coverage but does relatively little to help … (read more)

Op-ed: De Blasio’s welfare reform correction: Critics who claim we’re sliding back to the bad old are blind to reality

March 27, 2015. An op-ed by James Parrott, Daily News.

Some see the slight increase in New York City’s welfare rolls in recent months as cause for alarm, warning that we are on an inevitable slide back to bad old days of chronic government dependency.

In fact, the uptick reflects a long overdue policy correction. Changes underway are about making temporary assistance “a leg up and not a hand out,” which is exactly what welfare should be.

Far from … (read more)

Comparison of the Executive, Assembly, and Senate Education Proposals FY 2015-2016

March 24, 2015. The governor’s Executive Budget proposal would increase school aid by $1.07 billion. The increase in school aid is contingent on passage of a package of changes to teacher evaluation, tenure, and other procedures called the Education Opportunity Agenda. The budget also includes an Education Tax Credit which would provide a large credit for donations to schools and the Dream Act which would provide tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. The Assembly’s … (read more)

Policy Brief: Schools and Poverty

March 17, 2015. The state can improve low-performing schools and help students who face learning barriers by increasing funding for key education programs and poverty-fighting efforts. Proposals by the governor and the legislature are a start, but still fall short of what is needed.

In a report issued in February, the state identified 178 schools in 17 school districts as “priority” or “failing” schools. These schools score in the bottom 5 percent in student proficiency tests or have low graduation … (read more)