Rigged to Fail

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.

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Breaking Barriers- Improving Access to Health Care in Idaho

Idaho Breaking Barriers

“Breaking Barriers” is a 10-state study analyzing the significant impediments and racial disparities in enrollment in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and access to health care, even after enrollment. The report includes specific recommendations for systemic improvements to assure fair and equitable access to quality health care for all.

Stopping the Debt Trap: A National Solution

Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) held a field hearing to share their recommendations for stopping the predatory lending debt trap. The recommendations could create strong consumer protections for payday loans, vehicle title loans, deposit advance products and certain high-cost installment and open-end loans.

Idaho Community Action Network, which has actively lobbied for policy restrictions on the industry like a cap on interest rates, believes this proposal is a significant step in the right direction and will directly benefit Idaho communities. The emergence of national solutions that address the debt trap and wealth stripping plaguing our families and communities across the nation is a significant development in the movement for consumer protection.

This proposal takes a major step toward protecting families and their hard-earned money. For Idaho, these national solutions can alleviate the struggle for families who, frankly, have enough to deal with in a state with low wages and restrictive access to health care. Considering that each year around $64 million is being stripped from Idaho’s local economies, families don’t have more to give. It’s like squeezing blood from a turnip.

With more storefronts than Starbucks, the small dollar loan industry has shown blatant disregard for common sense practices, including basic affordability underwriting. Continue reading