Support HB 884: EITC Step-down

By Chris Ross, JD, Associate Director for Social Concerns

House Appropriations Committee (Mar 12, 2013)

The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.

HB 884 would create a pilot program that reduces an employed TCA recipient’s assistance over the course of nine months. Under current law, assistance reductions begin with the first dollar of earnings, making a newly employed TCA recipient barely better off than if the individual did not work at all.

Maryland’s Catholic bishops have stated that “work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s act of creation.” HB 884 provides TCA recipients an opportunity to ease into employment and promotes occupational stability. The gradual decrease in TCA funds would permit newly employed workers to pay for new expenses such as child care and transportation along with existing ones such as rent, utilities, food, and clothing.

The bishops wrote, “The Church teaches that the economy must serve the people, not the other way around.” HB 884 grants newly employed workers an opportunity to join the workforce with an improved opportunity at stability. The gradual decrease in assistance will improve an individual’s ability to work in Maryland and promote their inherent human dignity through work.

For these reasons, we respectfully urge a favorable report.