April 12, 2012Pathways to Prosperity Project, the Citizens League has found that conditional cash transfers are a key way to directly support productive decision-making by low-wealth families. The Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) program is Minnesota's most functional and successful form of conditional cash transfer. We need to develop and expand FAIM as part of a key series of actions designed to support prosperity rather than react to poverty. This year the Minnesota Legislature is considering re-funding FAIM after cutting it in the deal made during the state shutdown in July 2011. With a small appropriation ($250,000 annually), FAIM represents an emerging policy direction that encourages savings, promotes financial literacy and directly supports activities that we know are good for family independence and society as a whole: owning a home, pursuing a degree, or starting a business. The effort is supported with a matching grant from the federal government. In addition, FAIM has a presence statewide and is an effective approach in all our communities. Authors for the bill are Rep. King Banian (R-St. Cloud) in the House (HF 2062) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) in the Senate (SF 1720) and both bills have a bipartisan group of co-authors. Provisions for FAIM are included in the House Health and Human Services omnibus bill. The Senate does not have a FAIM provision in its omnibus bill, but it was discussed on the Senate floor, providing an opportunity for it to be included in conference committee deliberations. Contact your legislators in support of FAIM, particularly if they serve on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
Posted by lschumacher at April 12, 2012 12:16 PM