Statement by Georgia Katsoulomitis, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), Regarding American Rescue Act

March 11, 2021

Statement by Georgia Katsoulomitis, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI), Regarding American Rescue Act


“On behalf of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, I wish to applaud President Biden, Vice President Harris, and the United States Congress for passing the American Rescue Act.  This $1.9 Trillion law will not only provide much-needed support to the American people as we all continue to manage hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will also lead to a substantial reduction in poverty in this country

The American Rescue Act recognizes a fundamental reality – this pandemic has been particularly difficult on already vulnerable individuals and families.  People living in poverty, Black and Brown communities, and immigrant families all have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19.  The rescue plan means more resources and opportunities for those communities, which will in turn mean better public health and economic outcomes for all of us – because we are one society, one economy – and collective success and opportunity benefits everyone.

In particular, the new law – which was introduced by President Biden on the first day he assumed the Presidency and finally passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in the past week – will have a tremendously positive impact on child poverty in this country.  Estimates from researchers suggest it will cut child poverty in half.  The plan, for instance, includes additional resources for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP) and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which will help alleviate food insecurity in poor families. Even more significantly, the new law expands the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which will not only mean more money in the pockets of low-income families, it will likely have a stimulative impact on local economies. The legislation will also provide emergency rental assistance and other housing supports, and will bolster the nation’s early childhood education sector and, which will help working families.

The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute has spent many years working to address these priorities, especially in finding ways to alleviate the growing scourge of child poverty.  We appreciate the leadership of the Biden/Harris administration and of Congress in addressing these needs. But we also recognize that there is much more work to be done, especially to make some of these temporary changes permanent so that children and families living in poverty have more of a chance and an opportunity to thrive and succeed

As anti-poverty advocates, we celebrate the fact that the federal government no longer seems interested in waging war on the poor.  We remain committed to working with our elected leaders, fellow advocates, and community partners on behalf of families, individuals and communities struggling with poverty and racial injustice.  Massachusetts is fortunate to have members of Congress who care about fairness, justice and opportunity for all. We look forward to continue working with them to further the mission and the belief that no one should live in poverty or face racial or economic injustice in our great nation.”

If you are interested in speaking with Georgia Katsoulomitis, please contact Suzanne Morse at or by phone at 617-646-1020.


About the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI) is a nonprofit poverty law and policy center. It provides statewide advocacy and leadership in advancing laws, policies, and practices that secure economic, racial, and social justice for low-income people and communities. MLRI advances its mission through legal initiatives and policy reforms that address the root causes of poverty, remove barriers to opportunity, and create a path to economic stability for low-income individuals, families, and communities.  For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter (@MassLawReform) and Facebook.


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