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State of the States: Understanding State-Level Cash Aid through Income Tax Systems

Urban Institute’s State and Local Finance Initiative and Jain Family Institute invite you to join a virtual discussion on recent changes in state cash assistance to families.

During the pandemic, some households have fared worse economically than others, while state governments have had unprecedented strong revenues. While some states cut tax rates, others used these funds to expand support for children and families. This event will explore how income tax systems have changed, focusing on tax credit design in three states (Colorado, New Jersey, and Vermont) from policymaker, recipient, and advocate perspectives.

Panelists will explore the following questions:

  • How do these states provide relief for families?
  • Why was reform a priority and are the reforms sustainable?
  • How were changes enacted and were families part of the design process?
  • What are the outcomes for beneficiaries? Are all families being reached?
  • Have lessons emerged that could apply to other states and the federal government?



  • Kevin Amirehsani, Senior Tax Policy Manager, Office of State Planning and Budgeting Colorado Governor’s Office
  • Halah Ahmad, Vice President, Policy Communications, Jain Family Institute
  • Janet Ancel, Representative, and Chair, Committee on Ways and Means, Vermont House of Representatives
  • Richard C. Auxier, Senior Policy Associate, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
  • Mary Bogle, Principal Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute
  • Peter Chen, Senior Policy Analyst, New Jersey Policy Perspective 
  • Isabel Dickson, Economic Mobility Specialist, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
  • Stephen Nuñez, Lead Researcher on Guaranteed Income, Jain Family Institute
  • Kim S. Rueben, Sol Price Fellow, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center; Director, State and Local Finance Initiative, Urban Institute
  • Marjorie Sims, Managing Director, Ascend at the Aspen Institute
  • Ealasha Vaughner, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, Clayton Early Learning; Tax Ambassador, Colorado Fiscal Institute

  • Queen X, Alumni Member, Family Voice Council, Colorado Department of Human Services


Recognizing the continually evolving nature of state and local budgets, the Urban Institute’s State and Local Finance Initiative regularly hosts public convenings to explore the changing priorities and pressures facing policymakers. Our series features conversations with elected officials, researchers, and advocates to examine current and future fiscal conditions.


Jain Family Institute logo


Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center logo


Support for this event is provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email  [email protected]  if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.

Date & Time Monday, October 17, 2022

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Urban Institute Speakers
  • Principal Policy Associate
  • Principal Research Associate
  • Sol Price Fellow
    Director, State and Local Finance Initiative