In Wisconsin, legislators are considering cutting state funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a proven anti-poverty initiative. The Colorado legislature is poised to cut health care funding for low-income children. In California, another round of funding cuts to K-12 education is being debated. And in New Mexico, funding for a state nutrition program for low-income seniors was just eliminated.

Similar state budget cuts are taking place all across the United States.

Christ Lutheran and Minnesota State Capitol

Minnesota's State Capitol Building and Christ Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Photo Credit: Mark Peters, director, Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota

In state capitols around the country, elected officials are required by law to balance their budgets. Unfortunately states are choosing to cut funding for key human needs’ programs due to decreased state tax revenues from the recession.

This current round of cuts for state-funded social programs comes on top of deep cuts already made over the last few years. Alarmingly, at the exact time states have been cutting funding for essential services, the need for these programs has risen as more and more families seek assistance due to unemployment and stagnant wages.

The ELCA has long recognized the importance of decisions made by state legislatures. Our State Public Policy Office (SPPO) network works to ensure that the needs of the country’s most vulnerable people are given high priority in state capitols.

The State Public Policy Offices speak to the biblical values of hospitality to strangers, care for creation, and concern for people living in poverty and struggling with hunger and disease. We encourage you to connect with your State Public Policy Office and advocate for just state policies for people in need. To see a list of our SPPOs and to learn more, click here.