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In Louisiana, nearly 900,000 people need help each month to afford food.

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Budget brief: It’s time to re-invest in higher education

After a decade of reductions, higher education in Louisiana is once again threatened with deep cuts in the 2018-2019 state budget.

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Policy Brief: Enhancing Louisiana’s EITC

Expanding our state EITC is a common sense way to help Louisiana’s low-paid working families make ends meet as lawmakers pursue a partial renewal of the 2016 sales tax increase.

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The Daily Dime

After a day of heated negotiations and long delays on Thursday, the House failed to pass any tax measures to replace expiring revenue and avoid the fiscal cliff.

Number of the Day

0.68 percent-  Louisiana’s population growth rate from 2007 to 2017. (Source: Pew Trust)

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Our Two Cents Blog

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The Legislature’s stalemate over revenue-raising measures could force the state to opt out of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The budget passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards during the second special session includes a 24.2 percent, or $34.7 million, cut to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) – the state agency that administers SNAP.  If that comes to pass, Louisiana would be the first state to opt out of the federal food assistance program.  

That would be a disaster for the nearly 900,000 Louisiana citizens who need help each month to afford food. Louisiana has the second-highest rate of food insecurity in the country, and 1 in 5 Louisiana residents currently use SNAP benefits to put food on the table each month. Two-thirds of those receiving benefits in Louisiana are children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

The $1.4 billion in SNAP benefits that go to Louisiana families each year are funded entirely by federal dollars. But the cost to administer the program – including determining who’s eligible and monitoring fraud and abuse – are split evenly between the state and the federal government. The state’s share of those administrative costs in the upcoming year is expected to be $67.5 million. A $34.7 million reduction would mean DCFS could administer SNAP for only a portion of the year before running out of state funds.

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