Public Services, Budgets, and Economic Development

Too often, states and cities pursue economic development strategies that amount to little more than tax giveaways to big corporations. Pushing back on this flawed approach, EARN groups design and promote smart economic development policies that invest in infrastructure, in people, and in the communities where opportunity is lacking.

Smart economic development means strong workforce development programs, such as apprenticeships and sector strategies; infrastructure investments in transportation, schools, broadband, and healthcare; and community development projects that deliver good, high-paying jobs to local residents, especially in communities of color, and other underserved communities.

Federal funds for state and local governments

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Public Services and Employment

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High-quality and equitable education opportunities, ranging across early childhood, K-12, technical education, higher education and apprenticeships, are pivotal for the economic prospects of working people and their children. Read More.


Across the country, 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were repealed—more than doubling the number of people without health insurance. And 1.2 million jobs would be lost—not just in health care but across the board. Read More.


State and local governments account for the bulk of public spending on infrastructure. Infrastructure investments can ensure that we do not leave future generations a deficit of underinvestment and deferred maintenance of public assets. Read more.

Budgets and Taxes

Closing budget deficits is not always the optimal fiscal policy in the short term  or the medium term. Instead, budgets should simply be seen as a tool with which to boost living standards. Read More.



Equitable tax policy in the South

The American South is one of the most racially diverse regions of the country and is famous for its food, hospitality and music. But Southern states also fare worse on most measures of well-being, such as poverty, health and education, partly because they raise less revenue per capita than other states. Inadequate revenue means less financial support for vital public services such as education and health care. A new report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy examines the racist policies that led to the South’s regressive tax laws.


The Lost Decade

Texas AFT and Every Texan released a report highlighting “The Lost Decade” in Texas, a period in which underfunding schools has led to educators making less money than ever, with students facing the consequences of a crisis in keeping our teachers in the classroom.

As Texas AFT reported in February, a survey of its members showed that 66% had considered leaving their profession in the past year, and they said the primary motivator for keeping them in public education was increasing their salaries. “The Lost Decade” report, unfortunately, backs up their contention of low pay because it shows, on average, teachers are making 4% less than they were in 2010 (after adjusting for inflation). While 4% is the average, statistics show many educators making upwards of 12% less. Meanwhile, many support staff employees are still teetering at the federal poverty level with embarrassingly low wages.

The report explores how the latest school finance law, while initially plugging more money into public education, is mainly being used to reduce property tax rates and is not giving public education funding the ongoing boosts it needs to combat declining school employee wages. The report also looks at other issues driving teacher turnover and proposes solutions to address the challenges.


The Critical State Of Black Women’s Health

The state of Black women’s health is in critical condition, due to the systemic racism, discrimination, and implicit bias that Black women face within the health care system. To combat the intersecting factors that create an inequitable health care experience for Black women, the following aggressive strategies must be implemented.

  • Create policies with an intentional racial equity lens
  • Continue expanding Medicaid benefits, including postpartum coverage
  • Integrate health care access into public schools
  • Ensure technological accessibility for Black families
  • Increase the number of Black professionals in the medical field
  • Improve the quality of care for Black women

This report, which is an extension of the previously published brief by the same name, will provide an overview of the multifaceted issues contributing to the status of Black women’s health. It will also highlight health policy areas that require urgent attention and immediate intervention. Lastly, it will offer health policy recommendations targeting the institutions, systems, and previous legislation that have both intentionally and inadvertently harmed Black women’s overall health.

Our goal is to help inform Arkansans of health policy issues impacting Black women and to create partnerships with other community stakeholders in Arkansas to help increase access to health care and improve the well-being of all Black women. Policymakers, health care providers, and community-based organizations must work together to address the health care inequities that plague Black women.


Immigrants’ Experience with Medicaid Enrollment: Challenges and Recommendations

Medicaid enrollment can be a daunting process for many people—both U.S.-born New Yorkers and those who are foreign-born. It is even more challenging for those that don’t speak English, don’t have access to a computer, or those who do not understand the complicated health insurance system in the United States.

To better understand the difficulties that immigrants face when enrolling for Medicaid, we interviewed 20 immigrants from across New York State to uncover the challenges that may arise for these community members. To ensure a sample that engages a range of immigrant experiences, we interviewed New Yorkers from different countries, living in different parts of the state, and with different immigration statuses—including refugees, New Yorkers with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), Victims of Criminal Activity (U-visa), and undocumented individuals, some of whom are eligible for state-funded Medicaid as “PRUCOLs” (Persons Residing Under Color of Law) or through emergency Medicaid.