CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state legislature is working on a bill that would help families rely less on public assistance programs.

Senator Eric Lesser held a Facebook LIVE interview on Monday to discuss this legislation and its impact on the CLIFF EFFECT. The Cliff Effect occurs when a family’s income increases enough that they lose eligibility for public assistance supports like food, childcare, and housing, but not enough to afford these on their own, leaving them worse off with less overall income. This often causes people to turn down raises and promotions so they can cover their basic needs and can perpetuate family poverty for generations.

The bill  (S.119/H.208) would create a three-year pilot program for 100 working families and individuals earning low wages receiving any type of benefit, allowing them to transition off benefits without facing an income cliff.

Lesser interviewed Anne Kandilis, Director of Springfield WORKS, and Regina Hudson, Financial Credit Counselor for Springfield Partners for Community Action, to discuss how it has impacted individuals like Hudson and how the bill can help. The conversation can be found on Twitter and Facebook.