The federal administration’s proposal to lower the federal poverty line would cut benefits for most health, nutrition, and assistance programs
On May 6, the Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) put out a request for comments on the possibility of adjusting how the government determines the official poverty threshold, also called the federal poverty line (FPL).
The 2020 Census is just around the corner and ensuring an accurate count of Montanans, including American Indians, will be a big issue. An accurate count in 2020 matters because it ensures proper representation in state and federal government, protects tribal sovereignty, directs sufficient federal funding to meet communities’ needs, and protects vulnerable populations and marginalized people.
American Indians are a significant part of Montana’s population and our state’s future
American Indians are one of the fastest growing populations in the nation.
On May 15, the city of Missoula released a comprehensive, community-driven housing policy that was years in the making. The 95-page document, titled “A Place to Call Home: Meeting Missoula’s Housing Needs”, provides a strategic plan to give the city more tools to financially support housing services, eliminate regulations hindering affordable housing development, and provide incentives to private developers who help meet community housing needs.
Over the past four months, Montana Budget & Policy Center’s staff analyzed nearly every part of the state budget, provided research and testimony on important tax policy, advocated for essential investments in Indian Country, and worked with a broad coalition to pass HB 658, continuing Montana’s Medicaid expansion. In May, MBPC travelled the state to attend four Legislative Session Wrap Up events hosted by Montana Women Vote and Forward Montana.
During the 2019 Legislative session, several bills that would increase access to affordable housing for Montanans attracted significant support and interest. There were two primary pieces of legislation that MBPC supported, House Bill 16 and Senate Bill 18, related to funding the construction and preservation of low- and moderate- income housing.
HB 16 will direct $15 million from the permanent Coal Tax Trust Fund to create a loan program for low- and moderate-income multifamily housing developments.
Medicaid expansion was a big priority for the 2019 Montana Legislature. However, state budget and tax decisions of all kinds impact the social determinants of health, or the conditions in which people live, work, learn, and play.
The legislative session will soon be over, and it is time to reflect on the policy wins and losses specific to our work on state tax policy. While revenue projections for the biennium did not come in significantly lower than projected, Montana has struggled through two difficult budget cycles, rounds of deep cuts to health and social services, and insufficient revenue to restore funds.
As Americans are nearing the end of tax season, many people are finishing up filing their taxes and seeing what their tax return looks like. This is the first full year that we’ve seen the results of the GOP tax bill, also known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), that was rushed through Congress in 2017 and largely crafted behind closed doors.
Founded in 2008, the mission of the Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC) is to advance responsible tax, budget, and economic policies through credible research and analysis in order to promote opportunity and fairness for all Montanans.
In 2011, MBPC established a special focus on State-Tribal policy to promote sound fiscal and budget policy that can help reverse the history of economic injustice that has led many American Indians to unacceptable levels of poverty, unemployment, and poor health.