Report: 20 Percent of Michigan Kids in Poverty

A new report from the Michigan League for Public Policy offers a sobering statistic:  1 in 5 Michigan kids is living in poverty — even more than were in poverty than before the start of the Great Recession in 2008.

That means that the much-ballyhooed “Michigan comeback” has not reached down to our state’s vulnerable families and is leaving kids behind.

Raising minimum wage would make a difference, Rep. Tom Cochran (D-Mason) said.

As a father, Democrat Tom Cochran says Michigan families need relief.

“On minimum wage, where it is, I think it’s got to be higher,” said Rep. Cochran.

Cochran admits that raising the minimum wage probably won’t happen in the Republican led House. What’s more likely in the state’s lower chamber is tax relief through scaling back the personal income tax.

But Sen. Curtis Hertel (D-Meridian Township) said it’s unlikely that the Republican-led Legislature will take action to end poverty.

So what’s the Michigan Senate doing for families and kids in poverty?

“I think the answer is not much,” said Democrat Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr.

Newschannel 3 spoke with Sen. Hertel right after a heated budget meeting with the Department of Health and Human Services.

“The Kids Count report you are referring to is bad. These cuts will make it much, much worse,” said Sen. Hertel. “In the Health and Human Services budget, we are looking at over $100 million in GF cuts. That’s a huge problem here in Michigan. These are programs that help needy kids, they are helping the working poor.”

Read the report here.

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