Save families teetering on cliff of debt

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Fresno Bee – By Sharon Djemal, Darby Lin O’Donnell and Sharon Randall

The Great Recession devastated the financial health of families across California, especially the working poor families of Fresno and the surrounding San Joaquin Valley. Millions of Californians are still struggling with unemployment or underemployment, living paycheck to paycheck, barely able to make ends meet.

Last week’s budget deal in Sacramento takes steps to change that. In particular, the budget creates the state’s first earned income tax credit for the working poor, a sorely needed step. But more needs to be done, not just to get money into the wallets of low-income families but also to keep them from losing their money in the first place.

One set of bills making its way through the Legislature — the Economic Equity and Financial Stability Initiative of 2015 — would do just that. The trio of bills would update decades-old laws to meet the needs of working Californians, providing a hand up to families who are looking to rejoin the financial mainstream.


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