During the 2009-2010 session, Jamie filed the following pieces of legislation to provide greater support for low and moderate income families:
Low-to-moderate income families often face substantial barriers to gaining and keeping employment and to building the assets – such as a car to drive to work or modest savings – necessary to achieve financial stability and break the cycle of poverty. However, many transitional assistance and education programs are restricted to those with few or no financial assets. These restrictions can have the unintended effect of restricting employment options due to a lack of reliable transportation and can create disincentives for saving. This bill would remove state-imposed barriers to asset development for low-to-moderate income residents of the Commonwealth who receive support through the Department of Transitional Assistance and will promote gainful employment and financial stability.
This bill is to help low-income, low-skilled adults in Massachusetts gain employment in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages by promoting and supporting activities and programs that will increase access to education and vocational training and promote successful completion of degrees or certificates.
An Act Regarding the Countable Assets of Medical Assistance Recipients
This bill would allow individuals to save for retirement in Individual Retirement Accounts without being penalized when it comes time to calculate government benefits. Specifically, the bill provides that when one spouse is institutionalized (in a nursing home, etc.), any funds their spouse has in an IRA, Keogh plan or other pension funds will be considered non-countable assets so long as regular income distributions are made from the fund or the spouse is employed.