Report Card: Idaho Policies are Failing Working Families
Raising the wage and protecting child support are critical steps in helping workers move from barely surviving to thriving.
BOISE — A healthy, thriving environment that allows workers to move beyond living paycheck-to-paycheck is good for families, good for business, good for the community, and good for the economy.
Unfortunately, in Idaho, state policies too often seem rigged against workers and their families, preventing people from getting ahead no matter how hard they struggle. Low wages, a lack of good-paying jobs, inequitable tax systems, sky-rocketing education costs and debilitating debt especially impact low-income families.
A new report card, “Rigged to Fail: When state policies suppress workers’ ability to make ends meet,” released today by Idaho Community Action Network, gives Idaho an “F” when it comes to passing policies that help workers and their families get ahead. Here is a copy of the report.
According to an analysis by University of Idaho economist Steven Peterson, if Idaho adopted the health coverage expansion in 2014, the new spending on health care services and its ripple effects would create 16,337 jobs in the state – living wage jobs that allow families to make a living without relying on public assistance. An estimated 11,825 of these jobs will be in the state’s health care industry. The other 4,512 will be spread across a range of industries.
The new report – Expanding Health Coverage with Federal Funds Will Create Economy-Boosting Jobs in Idaho — was released by Idaho Community Action Network and prepared by Alliance for A just Society.
When the electric bill becomes too heavy of a burden; when gas prices render a trip to work unaffordable; or when insurance fails to cover the expenses of a health care crisis, for many, few options exist. Some will ask friends and family for help. Others may apply for a small loan at a local bank. However, for many Idaho residents located in low-income areas or communities of color, these are not viable options. Instead, MoneyTree, Quik Cash, EZMONEY, and other payday loan centers line the sidewalks with open doors waiting for the opportunity to profit from the financial hardship of consumers in need.