Last week, President Joe Biden announced the Build Back Better framework and now Democrats in Congress are hard at work to get the transformative package across the finish line. The historic investments in child care, climate change response, education, jobs, and health care options will bring down costs and level the playing field so that everyone across the state has a fair shot.
As Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence wrote for Ms. Magazine, “With the president’s historic Build Back Better Framework, we’re unlocking the full economic potential of working parents through investments in universal pre-K, childcare, elder care and the child tax credit.”
Here’s how this transformational package will deliver for Michigan:
- Provide access to affordable child care: In Michigan, the average annual cost of a child care center for a toddler is $10,374. The Build Back Better framework would enable Michigan to provide access to child care for 602,388 young children and ensure these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality child care.
- Fund universal, high-quality, free preschool: Right now, only 22% of the 284,217 Michigan 3- and 4-year-olds have access to publicly-funded preschool, and it costs about $8,600 per year for those who can’t access a publicly-funded program. The Build Back Better framework will allow Michigan to expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 222,398 children.
- Make the largest effort to combat climate change in American history: In the last decade, Michigan has experienced 19 extreme weather events, costing the state upwards of $5 billion. The Build Back Better framework will set the United States on course to meet its climate targets while creating good-paying union jobs, growing domestic industries, and advancing environmental justice.
- Provide nutritious food options for children: Today, 18% of Michigan children live in a food insecure household, affecting their long-term health and ability to learn in school. The Build Back Better framework will ensure the nutritional needs of children are met by expanding access to free school meals to 352,000 students during the school year and providing 832,299 students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
- Expand health care coverage and lower costs: The Build Back Better framework will close the Medicaid coverage gap to help millions gain coverage, extend the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions, and help older Michiganders access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare. In Michigan, that means 95,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and 83,400 will save hundreds of dollars per year.
- Train Michigan workers for the jobs of the future: The Build Back Better framework will prepare Michigan’s workers for high-quality jobs in fast-growing sectors like public health, child care, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy. 28 public community colleges in Michigan will benefit from grants to develop and deliver innovative training opportunities.
- Cut taxes for workers and families: Prior to the pandemic, 11% of Michigan children lived in poverty. The Build Back Better framework will reduce taxes on the middle class and those striving to break into it by extending the Child Tax Credit (CTC) increase of $250-300 per month and establishing permanent refundability, meaning that the neediest families will continue to receive the full CTC. The framework will also provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 for 571,000 low-wage workers in Michigan by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.