Palmetto Promise calls on Congress to make sensible decisions amid COVID pandemic

Quality of Life
July 6, 2020

Palmetto Promise Team

As “stimulus” legislation flew through Congress with band-aids intended to address looming unemployment and general economic devastation, Palmetto Promise Institute along with partner organizations from across the country kept a keen eye on the details of federal legislation. PPI signed onto several joint letters, calling for the passage or blocking of various bills and initiatives.

Here’s a quick explanation on each of those efforts:

No State Bailouts

May 8, 2020

Palmetto Promise Institute joined the Mackinac Center along with several other State Policy Network (SPN) partners calling on Congress not to bail out state or local governments for budget shortfalls in no way associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID Relief for Private Schools

May 13, 2020

Palmetto Promise signed onto a letter to Capitol Hill calling on lawmakers to provide COVID relief to private schools. Some of the requests in the letter include: 

  • Temporary education tax credit. Families paying private school tuition for the 2019 and 2020 tax years should receive a 50 percent tax credit on that tuition.
  • Temporary charitable tax deduction. Basically, this would allow families to count their private school tuition as a contribution to a nonprofit group for tax purposes. The letter notes that this provision could be classified as a deduction or a credit, and could be “means-tested” (somehow account for families’ relative income levels).
  • Immediate relief and longer-term tax credit policy. This would involve tweaking the rules for 529 education savings plans to allow savings to be used for homeschooling purposes, and modifying school choice legislation backed by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to create a one-time “emergency” grant for private school families.

Pass the “Getting Americans Back to Work Act” 

May 18, 2020

Palmetto Promise Institute signed onto a letter, joining 15 other organizations, calling on lawmakers to support the “Getting Americans Back to Work Act,” limiting federal unemployment benefits to the applicant’s last paycheck. This bill will help restart the American economy by making working more profitable than not working. 

Remove MOE Provision in Coronavirus Response Bill 

May 21, 2020

Palmetto Promise Institute joined the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) and other partner organizations in asking lawmakers on Capitol Hill to block the so-called “maintenance of effort” (MOE) provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This crushing local match provision for massive new federal outlays would cause irreparable harm to state budgets.

Building a Stronger, Freer Health Sector Post-COVID

June 25, 2020

Palmetto Promise Institute singed onto a letter calling for 3 major healthcare changes in light of COVID-19: 

  1. Make it easier for people to access personal, “portable” health insurance” that travels with them from job to job and in and out of the labor market. 
  2. Make it easier for patients to communicate with their medical providers of choice – including by phone, email and video conference.
  3. Make it easier for patients to own and control accounts to pay for their own care.

This letter was initially posted by The Galen Institute and multiple media outlets.