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YCCAC Deputy Director Carter Friend Joins Roundtable to Highlight Child Tax Credit Expansion

On Wednesday, August 18th, YCCAC Deputy Director Carter Friend took part in a roundtable discussion with Governor Janet Mills, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Maine parents and other community stakeholders to highlight—and celebrate—expansion of the Child Tax Credit, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March as part of the American Rescue Plan. The full press release, with Carter’s quote in bold text, is below. Photo (left to right): Governor Janet Mills; Stephanie Eglinton, Executive Director of Maine Children’s Alliance; Congresswoman Chellie Pingree; and Carter Friend.

Congresswoman Pingree, Governor Mills Celebrate Success of Child Tax Credit Expansion in Maine, Urge Federal Program Be Made Permanent

The expanded Child Tax Credit has helped 215,000 Maine children and provided eligible Maine parents and caretakers with an average of $415

PORTLAND, ME – Today at Spring Point Children’s Center in South Portland, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Maine Governor Janet Mills convened a roundtable conversation with Maine parents and community stakeholders to highlight the success of the historic Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion, which was enacted by Congress and signed by President Biden in March as part of the landmark American Rescue Plan.

“I proudly voted for the expanded Child Tax Credit because all Maine children deserve the opportunity to thrive. As we heard directly from parents today, even small household necessities add up and this transformative federal investment is giving them the vital support they need,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “It is a painful fact that a majority of Americans cannot cover a $500 unexpected expense in an emergency, and for parents that level of financial insecurity is even greater. That is precisely why the Child Tax Credit supports low and middle-income parents and caretakers equally to ensure all kids are given a fair shot. For the prosperity and betterment of the next generation of Americans, I will continue pushing my colleagues so Congress makes this expanded Child Tax Credit permanent.”

In March, Pingree and a majority of congressional Democrats voted to pass President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which created the nation’s first-ever periodic child benefit. Although this expansion was only authorized for one year, Pingree has joined with national leaders in calling for this Child Tax Credit to be made permanent.

“Families across Maine are working hard to make ends meet and to raise happy and healthy kids with bright futures. The American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit, with its unprecedented investment in kids, makes that job a little easier with up to $300 in much-needed relief every month for parents,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This is money that makes a real difference in the lives of Maine people and their kids, helping them afford child care, school supplies, food, clothes, and other necessities. I thank the Biden Administration, Congresswoman Pingree and Senator King for their advocacy of this important measure, which I hope to see extended into the coming years.”

“The Child Tax Credit expansion is a game changer for the families we work with. Most are struggling to pay for basic needs or essential supports like child care and transportation. We are already hearing from clients about how the CTC is providing critical help to make ends meet. And we are seeing how it is providing a sense of relief to families with children,” said Carter Friend, Deputy Director of York County Community Action Corporation in Sanford, a direct services provider to individuals and families in York County, working to promote education, health and economic opportunity.

“The American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit is a powerful and effective policy to lift children of out poverty in Maine and across the nation and should be made permanent. Boosting family well-being and economic security advances equity and means that more children will have the opportunity to meet their full potential,” said Stephanie Eglinton, Executive Director of Maine Children’s Alliance, a nonprofit that works to improve the lives of Maine children, youth and families through research, collaboration and advocacy.

Two Maine parents spoke at the roundtable about how the expanded tax credit had helped their households.

“This is very helpful as individuals who pay the equivalent of a home mortgage on daycare,” said Allie Casciotti, a parent raising two daughters aged 2 and 4 in Lebanon who received $600 CTC payment in July.

“COVID threw a big wrench into working and childcare and there aren’t a lot of options here so knowing we have some extra money in case we have to enroll our kids elsewhere or pay for babysitters is really helpful,” said Lindsey Clancy, a parent raising two daughters aged 3 and 8 in Kennebunk who received $550 CTC payment in July

On August 6, 2021, Pingree sent a survey to Maine First District residents asking if they had received a Child Tax Credit payment and, if so, how it impacted their households.

63 percent of the survey respondents shared personal stories of how this historic benefit has helped them. Mainers wrote about using the funds to cover the cost of diapers, daycare, past-due monthly bills, rent or mortgage payments, back-to-school supplies, starting a college fund, and more. A sampling of responses received by Pingree’s office is provided below:

“We are middle class and often get taxed more with no relief. So for us this is a great help. Typically we get nothing as a middle-class family.” – Diana Castle, Rockport

“Takes some of the financial pressure off our single-income family after my wife lost her job in the pandemic.” – Trip Gander, Winslow

“I don’t feel like I am in survival mode with the new credits monthly.” – Julie West, Portland

“Every little bit helps when you’re a single parent of 2 boys with Cystic Fibrosis.” – Jennifer Slocum, Parsonsfield

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