Each year, the Minnesota Asset Building Coalition solicits the input of hundreds of practitioners, advocates and program participants in order to decide on a legislative agenda that is informed both by sound research and by the experiences, challenges and visions of Minnesotans.
MABC 2018 Policy Agenda
STOP THE FINES AND FEES DEBT TRAP
Fines and fees from traffic tickets and minor criminal violations strip assets from low income communities and communities of color. Fines and fees can act as a debt trap that makes it difficult for families to build a strong financial future. Additionally, an unpaid ticket can lead to a driver's license suspension, which makes it hard to keep a job or manage a family's basic needs.
MAKE AUTO INSURANCE MORE AFFORDABLE
The law requires all drivers to carry liability insurance, but the lowest-income drivers often pay the most for insurance, because factors such as credit score and zip code increase their rates. When insurance is unaffordable, it creates a hardship for low income families, who may have to give up a job because they need to drive to get there. Some states have addressed this issue through solutions like targeted insurance programs for low income, good drivers with more affordable rates.
A successful small business can boost family income, create jobs in the neighborhood, and contribute to community vitality. Access to affordable financing and business technical assistance are necessary for entrepreneurship to thrive, but entrepreneurs from underserved communities face barriers to both.
SUPPORT FINANCIAL CAPABILITY
Tax time presents a golden opportunity for saving for low-income taxpayers. Providing financial capability services on-site at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites can support good money management decisions by helping clients open bank accounts for direct deposit of their tax refund, set budgeting and savings goals, review their credit report, deal with debt, or participate in a matched savings incentive program.
MABC SUPPORTS THESE CAMPAIGNS LED BY OUR MEMBERS:
Somali Development Fund
Somali American communities have the highest rates of poverty of any demographic group in Minnesota, according to the State Demographer. Somali Americans also report the lowest rates of community engagement and connectedness. MABC supports the Coalition of Somali American Leaders' campaign to create a Somali Development Fund to enhance health, education, housing, and economic outcomes for Minnesota Somali communities.
Last year the Legislature proposed major cuts to the Renters' Credit, which refunds a portion of the property taxes that lower-income Minnesotans have paid through their rents. Cuts to the Renters' Credit would make it harder for struggling Minnesotans to make ends meet. MABC supports the Minnesota Budget Project's campaign to preserve the Renters' Credit.
Affordable, accessible child care is one of the most critical components of stable, thriving families. MABC supports the Kids Can't Wait Campaign and Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities initiative to increase access to affordable childcare by making unserved families a higher priority for access to the Basic Sliding Fee Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and reducing barriers for families experiencing homelessness, and by supporting initiatives to increase the supply of both center-based and home-based childcare options in every corner of the state.