ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York’s Legislature has voted overwhelmingly to set a goal of cutting child poverty in half in 10 years.
The Child Poverty Reduction Act, “establishes the child poverty reduction advisory council to effectuate a reduction of child poverty in the state.” The act establishes the Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council who is tasked with developing a plan.
The Council will evaluate specific policies and their impacts on child poverty, including racial disparities, make concrete budget and policy recommendations with benchmarks and timelines, and publicly share data to make sure that New York meets its goal.
Lawmakers said that before the pandemic, poverty affected the lives of one in five New York children and in Rochester, one in every two children. Before the pandemic, a Black child was two times more likely to live in poverty than a white child. Before the pandemic, New York’s child poverty rate was higher than 31 other states. 2020 was already well-past time to address child poverty.
Since the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of more children and families have plunged into poverty, including 10,000 in Monroe County by June 2020.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-13) and Assemblyman Harry Bronson (D-138) went before the legislature with 41 co-sponsors in the Assembly and 24 co-sponsors in the Senate. Legislators’ votes in support were overwhelming and included Democrats and Republicans from rural, urban, and suburban communities that span the entirety of New York State.
Outside of the legislature, nearly 60 partners, coming from all corners of the state and all walks of life, have joined in advancing the Child Poverty Reduction Act.