This article was originally published in Commonwealth on September 6, 2023.

Massachusetts consistently ranks as the top state to raise a family. The reason is simple: our family policies – from paid leave and childcare to education and safety – and pro-growth policies make us a leader among peer states.

In 2021, Massachusetts once again led the pack by introducing the country’s first universal tax credit for children and other dependent family members. The Child and Family Tax Credit provides $180 for up to two children under 12 years old or elderly/disabled adult family members.

A groundswell of bipartisan support quickly followed the quiet introduction of this relatively modest credit to expand its generosity, reach, and simplicity. Gov. Baker made doubling the credit to $360 a central provision in his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal. Not to be outdone, Gov. Healey campaigned and was elected on a promise to more than triple the credit’s value to $600, remove the two-children cap, and expand eligibility to children under 13 years old. Both Republican and Democratic members of the Legislature have sponsored substantial expansions of the credit.

Despite broad support, these reforms have yet to come to fruition. Concerns about fiscal complications have made some members of the Legislature hesitant to make good on earlier promises. However, the fiscal year 2024 budget passed last month set aside substantial funds for tax relief, and the House and Senate are currently negotiating differences between the two chambers’ proposals.

Read the full article here.