New without box: A brand-new, unused, and unworn item (including handmade items) that is not in original packaging or ... Read moreabout the condition
|Occasion:||Casual||Country/Region of Manufacture:||China|
|Width:||Medium (B, M)||Heel Height:||Flat (0 to 1/2 in)|
Many discussions about safety-net programs tend to focus on financial cliffs—how the impact of getting a raise or working additional hours may make participants ineligible for the very benefits they need to move into economic stability. Marriage is rarely part of this discussion, even though numerous studies show marriage is an important tool for moving families out of poverty.1 That marriage is often absent from these discussions is especially ironic, since the promotion of family stability—by encouraging marriage and discouraging nonmarital births—was among the chief policy rationales for welfare reform in 1996.
After reviewing research stressing the importance of eliminating marriage penalties, we developed and successfully advocated for legislation that would create a “honeymoon” period for newly-married couples receiving assistance through Minnesota’s version of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The legislation (HF 1453/SF 1165) received strong bipartisan support and was enacted by a Republican Legislature and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton in 2017. In our view, it represents the bi-partisan possibilities of enacting legislation based on the consensus that marriage is a vital tool for reducing poverty and fostering child well-being.
Crafting a Policy
Minnesota’s version of TANF is the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP), which provides work support and cash assistance for children and their parents, who are often low wage workers between jobs. There has been no increase in the amount of the cash benefit to participants in over 30 years. Both of our organizations were involved in advocating for an increase.
As we talked with people of faith across our state, especially religious leaders, we kept hearing about couples who wanted to be married but couldn’t afford to make this decision because adding another adult to the family’s income would put them over the poverty threshold used to determine eligibility.2 The concerns were often strongest for couples expecting a baby who wished to be married before birth of their child. Unfortunately, marriage would result in a loss of benefits at the exact time the new mother would be unable to work. We sought to address this marriage disincentive.
Framing the Legislation
In our experience, all elected officials want to help families and individuals in poverty. They desire all our citizens to be economically stable and prosperous, but they often have different ideas about how to make that happen. Our goal was to frame our bill in a way that showed a commitment to helping children live in stable, secure homes that lawmakers from both parties could champion.
To that end, we drafted a bill to create an 18-month window after marriage in which a new spouse’s income would not count when determining eligibility—a “honeymoon” period. This income disregard was modeled on an existing statute that addressed child support for children on MFIP. Due to constitutional concerns related to marriage incentive programs, we consciously chose to structure the bill in a way that would allow couples to choose to marry rather than reward those who married.
Making the Pitch
In seeking bill sponsors (and later other supporters), we spoke about the benefits of marriage to children and the challenges to couples that wanted to marry but knew the very real financial impact this would have on their families. We shared that the federal TANF Program, which is used to fund MFIP, specifically lists two marriage-related goals: to promote marriage and to reduce the number of children born out of wedlock.
We provided data from a joint American Enterprise Institute/Los Angeles Times study3 in which people in poverty were asked: “How often do you think unmarried adults chose not to get married to avoid losing welfare benefits?” Twenty-four percent of participants answered, “almost always,” and an additional 23% answered, “often.”
We also gave legislators highlighted copies of a 2009 study of the federal TANF program that showed participation in the TANF program had a negative effect on the probability of marriage, an effect that disappeared once participants moved off the program.4
In building strong bipartisan support for the legislation, we addressed some concerns along the way. For example, we made it clear that we were not judging single parents but instead creating a viable option for couples who wanted to be married. We also clarified that nothing in the bill would trap a parent in a relationship that was dangerous for the parent or children.
Our House author identified a concern we hadn’t anticipated—should the state allow continued participation in the MFIP program if a participant marries a middle or upper-class individual? We addressed this by amending the bill to include a cap on the income disregard, set at 275% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, the standard used to determine whether pregnant women and children are eligible for Medicaid.
In both chambers, the bill passed unanimously and was included in an omnibus bill signed by our Governor. Ultimately, the bill had to be amended to provide an income disregard for 12 months instead of the original 18. This change was unfortunate given that, ideally, this honeymoon period would last two or three years. Despite this amendment, the new law will likely make a significant impact by removing an obstacle to marriage for low-income households in our state.Womens Driving Moccasins Slip On Round Toe Loafers Flat Bowknot Pump Shoes SizeNew Balenciaga Paris Women Black Boots Leather Suede Zip Up Ankle Booties Sz 36,Ted Baker Women's Pasces Black Patent Dress Flat 6.5M,Splendid Womens Jamie Navy Casual Espadrilles Flats 9.5 Medium (B,M) BHFO 0384,Balenciaga Wedge Wrap Ankle Boot, Size Brown Made in ItalySweet Womens Cute Ballet Flats Round Toe Buckle Strap Mary Janes Loafer Shoes,KEEN Womens SZ 9 Cush Brown Leather Comfort Ballerina Flats Shoes Slip Ons,Man/Woman Authentic Givenchy Rain Boots Size 39 sell Fine art Strong heat and heat resistance,Earthies Ennis Women's Ballet Flats SZ 8DWomens Mary Jane Slip On Loafers Low Heels Leisure Shoes Square Toe Pumps All SZ,NAOT Women's Levanto Ankle Bootie - Choose SZ/Color,Man/Woman NEW FRYE WOMENS NOVA FLOWER TALL Beautiful color Fine art fineWomens Loafer Mary Jane Moccasin Gommino Shoes Flats Candy Work Pumps Sz 4-12.5,Lucchese N4722.54 Dana Womens Red Burnished Goat Leather Cowboy, Western BootsHot Sale Womens Casual Loafer Hiking Walking Round Toes Flats Fashion Shoes Size,Edmundo Castillo Black Leather Kitten Heel Buckle Knee High Boots SZ 9.5Orthaheel Womens Melanie Brown Leather Orange Elastic Flats Size 9.5,Corral Women's Metallic Green Glitter Inlay And Crystals Ankle Boot Snip Toe,Dan Post Ladies "Paint" Multi Color Cowgirl Certified Square Toe Boots DP4615,Vintage 1960's Pinwheels Nubuck Leather Oxford Shoe Women 5.5 Black and Gray,Circus By Sam Edelman Women's Lena Black Espradrille Flat 6MWomens Round Toe Ankle Strap Chinese Style Casual Embroider Floral Canvas Shoes,Naturalizer Women's Tracer Dew Leather Slip On Flats Size 6.5N NIB,ZARA BLACK LEATHER BOOTS WITH BLOCK HIGH-HEEL & ROUND TIP 6014/301COMFORTABLE L.K. BENNETT BLACK GENUINE LEATHER SIZE 7 / 37.5,Costume National Black and White Suede Boots sz 39EU/8.5US,80% Fahsion Womens Shoes High Heels Pu Leather Over Knee Boots Platform Side Zip,Womens LA CANADIENNE MONACO black suede short booties sz. 11 NEW! $415,DIVA Womens Ladies Black Leather Band Color Guard Shoes Size 8,Aldo Corral Orange Teal Chevron Loafer Oxford Flats Shoes Slip on Casual Ballet
Sign up for our mailing list to receive ongoing updates from IFS.
Interested in learning more about the work of the Institute for Family Studies? Please feel free to contact us by using your preferred method detailed below.
P.O. Box 1502
Charlottesville, VA 22902
We encourage members of the media interested in learning more about the people and projects behind the work of the Institute for Family Studies to get started by perusing our "Media Kit" materials.
Thanks for your interest in supporting the work of The Institute for Family Studies. Please mail support checks to the address below:
The Institute for Family Studies
P.O. Box 1502
Charlottesville, VA 22902
If you would like to donate online, please click the button below to be taken to our donation form:
You can also support us on Patreon via the button below:
The Institute for Family Studies is a 501(c)3 organization. Your donation will be tax-deductible.