State Policies Are Failing Maine’s Working Moms

In 2012, women headed one of every three low-income working families in Maine, according to a new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project.

These are women who are working, but still do not earn enough to meet their families’ needs. Maine’s economic policies are failing these low-income, female-headed households.

The report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future,” lays out policies proven to ensure women can participate in the economy.

Yet for every policy the report offers, Maine’s governor and his allies in the legislature have done the opposite:

Expand health care benefits to low-income working families.

  • Vetoed and sustained.

Provide financial aid, especially for part-time attendance, to improve access to postsecondary education.

  • Cut.

Provide income support while single mothers earn their degree.

  • Capped.

Raise the minimum wage to bolster job quality.

  • Vetoed and sustained.

Invest in affordable, quality child care.

  • Cut.

Expand the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

  • No action.

According to the report, as of 2012, there were roughly 40,000 low-income working families in the Maine, of which 14,424 are headed by single women. Nearly 40% of those female heads of households have no post-secondary education.

The economy can work for our female heads of households. But the governor and legislature must put the policies in place that allow that to happen. So far, they have failed.

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