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A paid family leave policy would fuel a stronger Louisiana

Most workers encounter a period in their life when they need time off from work to take care of their own health or that of a loved one, whether it be a newborn baby or a sick family member. Unfortunately, the vast majority of workers in Louisiana cannot take time off from work to provide that care while still getting paid.

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Back from the Brink: The 2018 Louisiana Legislative Sessions

Louisiana’s 2018 legislative year began with one overriding objective: to solve a looming“fiscal cliff” caused by $1.4 billion in temporary tax revenue that was expiring on July 1.

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Video: Budget cuts threaten to eliminate SNAP

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

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The Daily Dime

Today marks the first day of class for many Louisiana college students, and those who attend school in the LSU or Southern University system could be in for some sticker shock.

Number of the Day

65 percent - Increase in the cost of child care in the United States since the early 1980s (Source: The New York Times)

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Our Two Cents Blog

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has a proven track record of helping families weather times of financial hardship, but the program’s effectiveness in fighting hunger and poverty is threatened by harmful changes proposed in the House version of the federal farm bill. Sweeping, punitive work requirements are the centerpiece of the House’s SNAP proposals. Proponents claim the changes will help more Louisiana families become financially secure, when in fact the opposite is true.

The reality is that many work-capable adults who receive SNAP are working, but often with volatile hours and low pay. A recent analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) showed that many work in the restaurant and retail industries and are prone to losing their job or having their hours cut when the tourist season ends or the holiday shopping season subsidies. As the economy strengthens, more of these work-capable adults are able to find better-paying, more stable work and no longer qualify for SNAP.

That’s the case in Louisiana, where the declining unemployment rate is closely tied to a decline in SNAP participation. As more Louisiana families get back to work or find better jobs, they earn enough to provide food for their families without SNAP. The number of Louisianans receiving SNAP decreased by more than 63,000 people between June 2016 and June 2018. The state’s unemployment rate also decreased from 6.1 percent of 4.7 percent during that time period. That means SNAP is working as the safety net it was designed to be, keeping families from severe hunger and destitution when times are tough and helping them stay healthy enough to get back on their feet when times are better. Read more

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