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Policy Conference 2016

MAKING ENDS MEET:

Enhancing Economic Security,
Fostering Shared Prosperity

February 19, 2016

NHFPI Budget and Policy Conference logo

The New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute convened Making Ends Meet: Enhancing Economic Security, Fostering Shared Prosperity to examine a range of policy solutions that can help to ease the struggles New Hampshire’s working families face.

“New Hampshire has one of the higher costs of living in the nation, leaving many working families to face a substantial gap between what they earn and what they must spend on essentials — from housing and groceries to health care and child care,” said NHFPI Executive Director Jeff McLynch. “New Hampshire should pursue a comprehensive strategy that addresses both sides of the equation, boosting stagnant incomes and bringing the cost of basic necessities within closer reach.”

The event opened with a review of basic family budgets for New Hampshire, presented by David Cooper, senior analyst with the Economic Policy Institute.

The first panel discussion examined low wages and workplace policies that make it difficult to care for family needs. Panelists outlined an array of strategies that can boost wages and incomes, from increasing the minimum wage and ensuring access to paid leave to creating an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increasing financial assets. Panelists included Holden Weisman, state and local policy manager, CFED; Ben Zipperer, research economist, Washington Center for Equitable Growth; and Jeffrey Hayes, program director, job security and income quality, Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

A second panel of state and national policy experts examined New Hampshire’s high cost of housing, child care, and health care and discussed policy changes that can make these basic necessities more affordable. Panelists included Helen Blank, director, child care and early learning, National Women’s Law Center; Judith Solomon, vice president for health policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; and Elissa Margolin, director, Housing Action New Hampshire.

The event concluded with a keynote address by Dr. Katherine S. Newman, provost of University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a distinguished author, researcher, and lecturer who has dedicated much of her career to the study of poverty, inequality, and economic opportunity in the United States and around the globe. Dr. Newman is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America and Chutes and Ladders: Navigating the Low Wage Labor Market.

 

Speaker Presentations:

Opening Remarks: What Does It Really Take to Make Ends Meet in the Granite State?

David Cooper, Senior Analyst, Economic Policy Institute (revised version)

Session One: Bolstering Incomes, Strengthening Families

Holden Weisman, State and Local Policy Manager, CFED
Ben Zipperer, Research Economist, Washington Center for Equitable Growth (article version)
Jeffrey Hayes, Program Director, Job Quality and Income Security, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Session Two: Bringing Necessities Within Reach

Helen Blank, Director, Child Care and Early Learning, National Women’s Law Center
Judith Solomon, Vice President for Health Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Elissa Margolin, Director, Housing Action New Hampshire

 

Press Release:

Making Ends Meet Conference Explores Solutions to Enhance Economic Stability for New Hampshire Families

 

News Coverage:

At Concord conference, experts discuss ‘making ends meet’ and what it takes to get by in New Hampshire
Concord Monitor, Feb. 21, 2016

Conference held to discuss NH’s minimum wage, how working families can benefit
NH 1 News, Feb. 19, 2016

 

Making Ends Meet Sponsors and Partners:

Presenting Sponsor

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Supporting Sponsor

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Partners

CFSNH-PMS 201 CVC-09

 

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View highlights from our 2014 and 2015 policy conferences.

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Common Cents Blog

Census Data Show Challenges with Income, Poverty, and Housing Costs

14 Sep 2017

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The Census Bureau released the one-year estimates for 2016 population characteristics based on the American Community Survey on September 14, showing poverty and unemployment in New Hampshire continue to decline in the wake of the Great Recession, but some groups are still struggling more than others. The poverty rate, or the number of people below the poverty threshold, dropped a statistically significant amount between 2015 and 2016, from 8.2 percent to 7.3 percent, with an estimated 94,289 Granite Staters in poverty in 2016.