Current Work

What We’re Working On

Repeal of Grocery TaxThe Farm Bill
Affordable HousingMilitary Family Access Act
Affordable ChildcareProtecting Health Care for All Patients
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ID Grocery Tax

Idaho has taxed the sale of groceries as long as the sales tax has existed. An analysis conducted by IIRAH found that the combination of charging a sales tax on groceries and offering a refund in the form of a Grocery Tax Credit places an unfair burden on working Idahoans, especially those who struggle for financial security. Exempting groceries from the sales tax would remove this inequity. Time and again the legislature has stood up for our constitutional commitment, as the people of Idaho, to provide for all our children “a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools.”  Idaho has historically found ways to overcome barriers when fairness and the need for revenue collide, and the present moment should be no different. IIRAH challenges the legislature to demonstrate those values by repealing the grocery tax in Idaho.

Affordable Housing

Idaho does not have enough affordable rental homes for those with limited incomes. Often these individuals and families have incomes below the poverty guideline, and they must choose between buying food or paying rent. Or, to give up their home so they can feed their families. IIRAH is collaborating with other groups working on increasing affordable housing options in Idaho.

Affordable Child Care

For low-income families, the cost of child care is a significant expense. According to the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, a parent working full-time and earning minimum wage typically spends half of their income on childcare for one child. And, with inflation, the rates for childcare have escalated. IIRAH is supporting the efforts of other nonprofit groups advocating for more affordable childcare options.

The Farm Bill

Press Release from the Bipartisan Policy Center: The 2023 Farm Bill allows Congress to improve food and nutrition security through federal nutrition assistance programs by expanding access, reducing costs through improved efficiencies and program integrity, and promoting workforce participation. The legislation also is an opportunity to increase the intake of foods recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). The major federal nutrition assistance programs authorized in the farm bill are:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
Community Food Projects
Emergency Food Assistance Program
Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
Food Distribution on Indian Reservations
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
Healthy Food Financing Initiative
List of Food Security Programs Funded through the Farm Bill

The USDA has proposed a new rule for SNAP and WIC benefits streamlines and modernizes the program. Of note, the proposed rule updates the eligible foods for purchase such that food packages better align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans offer guidance on what to eat and drink to meet your daily nutritional needs, promote good health, and prevent risk for disease. In addition, the proposed changes remove the barriers to online ordering and inter-based transactions for SNAP and WIC families. The proposed rule is a positive step towards encouraging healthier eating patterns and making food more accessible for SNAP and WIC recipients. 

Military Family Access Act

Many of our military families are food insecure. In Idaho, 1 in 9 working-age Veterans and 24% of active-duty service members were food insecure in 2020. Female and disabled Veterans are more likely to experience hunger (Housing Assistance Coalition, 2020). The Military Family Nutrition Access Act would exclude Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) — a portion of military pay allocated to cover off-base housing costs — from income calculations used to determine SNAP eligibility. This is true for many Federal assistance programs, including Head Start, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

Protecting Health Care for All Patients

This Protecting Health Care for All Patients bill prohibits all federal health care programs, including the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, and federally funded state health care programs (e.g., Medicaid) from using prices that are based on quality-adjusted life years (i.e., measures that discount the value of a life based on disability) to determine relevant thresholds for coverage, reimbursements, or incentive programs.

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