Good things are happening! Millionaires pick up kids’ lunch tabs, the Louisiana coast rebuilds, a top university sides with labor organizers over a huge corporation, and boat-rocking climate activists made landmark progress in Montana.
Millionaires Stock The Cafeteria
Wealth taxes work! Just look at Massachusetts, where millionaires are funding free lunches for hungry school kids.
Last November, the state passed a four percent tax increase on incomes over $1 million, bringing $1 billion in new revenue for its 2024 budget. Some of that money will provide free lunches to Massachusetts public school students in kindergarten through grade 12, while the rest will go to other educational initiatives and the transportation sector.
Pandemic relief brought free meals to schools nationwide, but after the aid expired last year, millions of kids were left hungry. Nationally, more than 30 million students can’t afford school meals, and unpaid meal debt adds up to more than $19 million.
Massachusetts is the eighth state to expand a free meal program after pandemic relief programs ended. California, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Vermont, and Michigan have also established free school meal programs, and earlier this summer, Pennsylvania’s governor proposed a universal free breakfast program.
Massachusetts’ state budget, signed last week, also included funds for workforce development, public transit, free community college for students over 25, child care provider grants, clean energy projects, and more.
BP Oil Spill Money Rebuilds A Coast
Louisiana officials broke ground last week on the first step of a $50 billion master plan to save the state’s disappearing coastline, using funding that comes in part from a settlement related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. This will be one of the largest coastal restoration projects in the country, and could inspire efforts to restore and protect coastlines in other states.