ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — There are 745,000 children living in poverty here in New York State, that’s one in every five. The Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council met for the first time today to develop a plan to cut child poverty in half over the next ten years. The council was created after legislation to create a council passed this year.
The memo of Thursday’s meeting: poverty is solvable. Members of the council said they don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but it’s an issue that will take some time to fix. “Poverty is widespread, there are communities all across the state in which poverty is challenging and for some, New York frankly ranks high,” said Daniel Tietz, Commissioner of NYS Office of Temporary Disabilities and Assistance.
The council discussed four different policy packages created by the National Academy of Science which have been proven to reduce child poverty. Tietz says the team can pull out bits and pieces from these policies, but they will certainly have to focus on two key issues, “One of them for sure is earned income tax credit, and or child tax credit, child allowance. For sure it’s difficult to imagine that we could get to our goal as laid out in the statute without looking at those as being part of any effort.”
Another issue the council will address is housing costs which the commissioner says are two times the national average in New York, “For sure we need to look at what we do about what’s colloquial referred to as shelter allowance for those on public assistance and making adjustments in the shelter allowance,” said Tietz.
Some other proposed ideas include increasing SNAP benefits and housing vouchers for families with children, increasing the earned income tax credit by 40%, and converting the child and dependent care tax credit to a fully refundable tax credit. The council will have their next meeting in December.