More help is overdue for Minnesota’s poorest families

No excuse can any longer justify Minnesota’s 30-year failure to increase monthly cash assistance to this state’s poorest families with children.
Editorial (Minnesota)

Star-Tribune (Minneapolis)
February 12, 2016

Tags: Income Inequality, Poverty

Organizations mentioned/involved: Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid


That shameful parsimony must be corrected by the 2016 Legislature. Continued neglect of the basic needs of some 28,000 vulnerable families — including 64,000 children — who depend on MFIP to survive would betray Minnesota values.

A report released last week by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, an advocacy group, notes that if MFIP’s monthly cash grants — stuck at $532 for a family of three — had been adjusted annually for inflation since they were set 30 years ago, they would be more than twice that sum today.

Allowing inflation to take its toll for so long has undermined MFIP’s ability to meet its intended policy goals. It does not cover life’s necessities for children while their parents meet MFIP’s strict requirements for work, job search and/or job training. Too often, recurring homelessness and diminished childhood development are the result.