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Lawmakers want to address child poverty, but how should it happen?

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  • Staff Report 

New York lawmakers are considering ways to address child poverty in the state. Democratic state lawmakers are calling for an expansion of the child tax credit to cover all families with children regardless of their age. However, some Republicans worry that proposals in the budget could have the opposite effect.


Advocates and state lawmakers say that the expansion of the child tax credit would be beneficial to low-income families in New York. The Robin Hood Foundation’s Jason Cone points to the effect of inflation on family budgets and the end of federal pandemic aid for food, stating that “those are all reasons why the state has seen better tax revenue needs to re-invest and support those families. They need those tax credits.”

The expansion of the child tax credit in New York is now part of the state budget negotiations in Albany. State Sen. Andrew Gounardes says the measures proposed so far in the plan are falling short, and lawmakers are expected to introduce their own formal budget plans next week, with a final deal with Gov. Kathy Hochul expected by April 1st.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

Supporters of the measure say that expanding the child tax credit in New York could aid 120,000 children in the state. Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center said that this could have a long-lasting imprint for low-income families, stating that “raising incomes will mean families and children are less stressed and have a better opportunity to address their health, their housing and their basic needs.” Studies have shown that the since-expired federal expansion of the child tax credit resulted in 2.9 million being lifted out of poverty.

However, Republicans in the state Legislature are worried about other proposals, like raising the state’s minimum wage. Republican state Sen. George Borrello says that a higher wage could lead to fewer job prospects for low-income kids. Republicans are advancing their own proposals to reduce the cost of living, regulations and taxes.