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April Advocacy Update: Child Tax Credit, Affordable Connectivity Program, and a Supreme Court Case

April Advocacy Update: Child Tax Credit, Affordable Connectivity Program, and a Supreme Court Case

April Advocacy Update: Child Tax Credit, Affordable Connectivity Program, and a Supreme Court Case 1600 615 Kristen Blacksher
Please read the April Adovocacy Update below by Voice for the Poor Chair, Bobby Kinkela:


Fellow Vincentians,

I wanted to share what we are working on and what we are watching.

First, as a member of the Circle of Protection, a broad faith-based coalition, President John Berry signed a letter to members of the U.S. Senate urging them to pass the Child Tax Credit.  The House passed their bill with an overwhelming majority. The Senate is bogged down over politics and not on the merit of the issue.  Thank you to the 2,700+ Vincentians that have sent emails to Congress on this issue.  If you have not weighed in, you can still send your message!  Because the legislative calendar is compressed due to the November election, if the Senate does not act soon, the bill will die.

We are monitoring the Affordable Connectivity Program.  The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a $30 discount on internet bills to income qualified households.  This is one of many programs that helps to reduce the internet costs for individuals. While funding for this program is in jeopardy, several similar programs remain including programs that provide cell phones to people who meet certain requirements.

The Supreme Court is hearing a case this week regarding criminalizing homelessness – Grants Pass v. Johnson.  The city argued that the ordinances merely bar camping on public property by everyone, while the challengers contended that the laws effectively make it a crime to be homeless in the city and therefore violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Monday’s arguments mainly focused on a 1962 Supreme Court ruling Robinson v. California which held that the 8th amendment forbids states from making laws punishing those addicted to drugs. The current challengers to the Oregon case likewise contend that the city’s ordinances, like the state law in Robinson, punish people who are involuntarily homeless.  We anticipate a decision will be made in late June.

Thank you for your advocacy and prayers.

In Christ,
Bobby Kinkela
Chair, Voice for the Poor Committee

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