Capitol Connector |

Capitol Connector Snapshot: September 17, 2021

Blog Post: Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income Demonstration Pilot

By Gene Martinez, The Arc Minnesota Legislative Advocacy Coordinator

Making sure that people who have disabilities are not struggling with poverty is very necessary. Many people who have disabilities struggle to live on incomes at the federal poverty limit. The federal poverty limit determines what people are able to receive government benefits based on their income. Because of this, many others struggle to remain on Social Security, Medical Assistance or Medicaid. Raising Medical Assistance income standards are welcome but there is a need for more assistance.

There were conversations in the 2016 Presidential election within the Democratic Party on establishing a guaranteed income for people. A guaranteed income program gives each person a monthly cash grant.

The guaranteed income’s purpose is to provide people with more financial security. People could use that guaranteed income for childcare, medical expenses, housing, food, education, and other needs. The income could also give people the chance to save money for emergencies, like losing employment or other crises.

The Arc Minnesota was able to meet with Andrea Inouye who works in Mayor Jacob Frey’s office. The Arc discussed the Minneapolis Guaranteed Basic Income Demonstration Pilot. The City Council approved $3 million dollars for the program. It is part of a city budget to spend federal funding received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The Act will give assistance to individuals and families in need, childcare, health, and other areas in need.

Updates from Washington D.C.

From The Arc US:

Action Needed: We Must Fund Disability Services

We need thousands of stories to tell Congress that people who have disabilities deserve the supports and services to live independently in their communities! Right now, Congress is deciding how much money to include for Home and Community Based Services in the #BetterCareBetterJobs Act. Share your story to Congress and help fund disability services.

From the National Council of Nonprofits: 

Federal Unemployment Relief Expires

Labor Day 2021 was the end of federal unemployment relief for millions of workers. About seven million people lost all benefits on Labor Day. Another three million people will not be receiving an extra $300 per week benefit from the American Rescue Plan Act. This is hard on employers that are reimbursing. This means

that employers are losing money as they pay federal unemployment tax. They are now also responsible for all of the costs of benefits paid to former employees.

Federal Debt Limit: Why Is It Important? 

The government is facing another “debt limit crisis”, but what does that mean?

This means that raising the debt limit permits the government to borrow money to pay bills that it has already gained. Raising the debt limit does not allow the government to increase spending above its original limit. Rather, it allows the government to meet its existing responsibilities such as Social Security benefits, interest on debt, or day-to-day expenses.

What would happen if the debt limit is not raised? The Treasury Department can continue to pay bills for a few months after the debt limit is reached. But, it is possible that the government might not be able to pay on payments due. Many negotiations are being made. Democratic leaders are moving forward with a debt limit proposal. This means that the current spending will continue until December 3, 2021. After that date, the debt limit plan could be put in place with the approval of legislation.

Read the original blog post.
Read the original Capitol Connector.
Sign up for newsletters like Capitol Connector here.