Rochester-area officials and children’s advocates are calling for increased state funding to fight child poverty.

State Senator Jeremy Cooney is pushing legislation he says would increase the maximum tax credit for children 4 years and older to $500, and to $1,000 for children under 4.

Right now, New York's child tax credit provides a minimum $100 per child and a maximum of $330 for children ages 4 through 16.

Area parents say the expanded funding will help them bridge the gap when kids' needs bring on unexpected costs.  

Cooney says his proposed legislation would lift more than 2,000 Monroe County children out of poverty.

“New York State is stepping up for children in the absence of the federal government,” Cooney said in a statement. “We saw the impacts of the expanded federal credits during the height of COVID, and we are seeing the unfortunate impacts of that program’s expiration now. It is unconscionable that we have cities, like Rochester, where nearly half of our children live in poverty. If fully implemented, expanded child tax credit eligibility coupled with my proposed value increase would lift more than 2,000 children from poverty in Monroe County alone. The State Legislature must pass a budget that prioritizes children and families across New York.” 

He was joined by The Children’s Agenda, Action for a Better Community, the Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative and CASH (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) in calling for state funding.