Earlier this year, Governor Pat Quinn called for a doubling of a state tax credit meant to help the working poor. Advocates are still trying to make that happen, but time is running out. The proposal would double the Earned Income Tax Credit, currently pegged to 10 percent of the federal E-I-T-C. Emily Miller, with Voices for Illinois Children, says the credit is more effective at fighting poverty than welfare or even raising the minimum wage:
"It's the only tax credit that actually incentivizes people to work more hours. So the more somebody works, the more that they will get back. It's the most effective policy tool in pulling people above poverty."
The E-I-T-C originated in the Reagan adminsitration and has bipartisan support. But as lawmakers scramble to pass a leaner state budget, it could be crowded out by other priorities, like education and health care.
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