This week is America Saves Week, an annual national campaign to promote positive savings behavior and to provide a chance for individuals to assess their own savings status and take financial action to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. In Mississippi, this is a significant challenge.
People with an account at a bank or credit union are better positioned to participate in the economy and contribute to the nation’s recovery. As such, a relationship with a financial institution enables people to more securely plan for future investments as they work their way toward financial stability. Banks and credit unions allow people to save, plan for the future, build credit and climb the economic ladder.
MEPC recently blogged on how well families are faring in Mississippi, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development’s (CFED) 2014 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard. It is evident from the Scorecard that despite an improving national economy, Mississippi families continue to exist in a state of persistent financial insecurity.
Last week the House of Representatives passed HB 799 which makes changes to tax collection methods at the Mississippi Department of RevenueThe state’s income from any source. Mississippi revenue includes: tax collections, fees, and intergovernmental grants.The Mississippi Department of RevenueThe state’s income from any source. Mississippi revenue includes: tax collections, fees, and intergovernmental grants.
A longtime staunch opponent of the Affordable Care Act decided to support expanding Medicaid in his state this week, adding to the list of conservatives who are having a change of heart on the issue, as advocates (as well as hospitals and other industry forces) continue to lobby hard for states to take full advantage of the federal funding provided in the ACA. At the same time, lawmakers from states including Mississippi continued their efforts to push for expansion as well. As full enactment of the law draws closer and closer, progressive lawmakers are growing bolder in their advocacy for full implementation of the ACA, and events this week signaled a clear shift in the political terrain in favor of supporters of health reform:
In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two high-profile challenges affecting states directly: Shelby County v. Holder, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as two cases on same-sex marriage. Arguments in the Voting Rights Act case are scheduled for February 27th, while arguments in the two marriage cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, are set for late March. States and the Obama administration are already filing briefs in advance of both cases. At the same time, efforts to advance marriage equality continued this week in state legislatures including Minnesota and New Jersey:
With a Supreme Court decision and a presidential election now come and gone, conservatives in many states seem to be having second thoughts about their opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, progressive lawmakers in Iowa and Michigan signaled they were set to introduce legislation on Medicaid expansion:
As “The Year of Voter ID” continues, pushback from outraged voters in a number of venues is leading to a growing realization that these supposed efforts to maintain election integrity are actually intended to suppress the vote this November. As a result, backers of voter suppression measures are facing unexpected obstacles at both the state and federal level in their efforts to tilt the electoral scales.
Legislators in Mississippi refused to bring up HB 488 for a committee vote last Tuesday — effectively killing the anti-immigrant measure modeled off of Arizona and Alabama’s controversial and economically devastating laws.
A rash of backward thinking appears to be taking hold in a number of states that might be better spending their time considering how to create modern technology jobs and skills at home. Some states are considering how best to deploy modern high-speed Internet to ensure their local economies and residents are ready to compete in the global marketplace. But in other states, legislators are debating whether telephone service should be offered at all - leaving many observers wondering whether they would prefer to live in the 19th century, before Alexander Graham Bell's invention became ubiquitous.