Moms don’t often get credit for the hard work they do. They take care of their children and do more than their fair share of unpaid household duties, on top of contributing to their communities and working at their jobs. And during the pandemic, they were among the hardest hit. Their income dropped beyond those of other groups, and they left the workforce in disproportionate numbers. To help address this, Congress passed the Child Tax Credit, which provided stable cash payments for families with children, creating a foundation from which mothers were able to support their families, advance in their workplaces, participate in their communities, and thrive. The Child Tax Credit dramatically decreased child poverty and food insecurity, and was widely heralded as an unprecedented success. Unfortunately, Congress failed to renew the CTC, pulling the floor out from under millions of moms, leaving them once again without a stable cash foundation.
These past few weeks—in the midst of Women’s History Month—states stepped up for moms, by advocating for their own cash credits in the wake of Congress’s lapse. Advocates, politicians, and organizers in states around the country are organizing rallies, putting on storytelling events, running online campaigns, and publishing op-eds to push for state level tax credits, or expansions of existing credits, to give moms the power to provide for their families, and the freedom to flourish.
Here’s what’s happening across the states:
- In Hawaii, advocates kicked off the action with a video from the lead state legislator in support of the Keiki Credit, which would create a statewide Child Tax Credit. Advocates followed up with a rally in front of the Capitol in support of a package of tax fairness bills. See news coverage. Finally, Christy MacPherson and Will White published an op-ed about what a Keiki credit could do for families.
- In New Jersey, advocates organized a rally to spotlight popular support for the state’s proposal to double the amount of their Child Tax Credit, and extend eligibility to all people with a tax ID number regardless of citizenship status, and to make mega corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Mariela Silva, a New Jersey mom of two, urged Governor Murphy to consider the needs of working families in tax negotiations. Read her op-ed in Inside NJ.
- In Vermont, organizers have set up public spaces where families can share how the state’s Child Tax Credit has helped them to get ahead.
- In Maryland, where the governor has endorsed the Family Prosperity Act, a bill to strengthen the CTC and EITC, supporters have organized a Twitter storm to spread the word and demonstrate Marylanders commitment to moms. See the action from labor unions, family advocates, and immigration organizers.
- In Utah, organizers pushed to create a new “pro-family” Child Tax Credit by increasing the income limits and including families with children under 18 (currently, the law limits eligibility to kids aged 1-3). They hosted a phone banking day where advocates reached out to legislators directly. See the Tweet.
- In Maine, advocates gathered in the Capitol to take photos with the legislators who support their proposal to expand the state Child Tax Credit, which is referred to as a “dependent exemption,” and to eliminate the minimum income requirement so all parents in need could qualify for the tax relief they deserve. They posted about it on social media.
- In California, mother of three Reyna Bonilla Palacios and Assemblyman Miguel Santiago published an op-ed in La Opinion about the efforts to expand the state’s existing Young Child Tax Credit to more families. Read the op-ed. Advocates from First 5 California, Golden State Opportunity, and The Children’s Partnership also organized a social media day of action about efforts to expand the refundable tax credits moms rely on.
- In Oregon, a single mom of a 4-year-old, Felicia, published a blog about what the proposed Oregon Kids Credit would do for her and parents like her, and 20,000 Oregon children. Read what she had to say.
- In Illinois, advocates and neighbors held a rally at the Bronzeville Children’s Museum – the nation’s only children’s museum dedicated to teaching Black history to kids– to promote the the importance of a bill to create a $700 per child Child Tax Credit for families under the median income, to help them afford the increasing prices of food, gas, and rent. Read the press release.
While all this was going on, New Mexico marked a legislative victory for moms, when a bipartisan legislature more than tripled the amount of their Child Tax Credit to $600 per child on March 18 (read more). In addition to the states mentioned above, a growing number of states are seeing campaigns to create or expand existing Child Tax Credits and Earned Income Tax Credits. In addition to those who took part in Moms Deserve the Credit events, we’re watching policies in Arizona, Connecticut, Washington DC, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
Altogether, these events and campaigns demonstrate the groundswell of support for Child Tax Credits across states with widely different demographics, and among state governments of every political stripe. The message is clear: moms deserve the Credit!