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University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Poverty Dispatch

Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

March 11 – 15, 2019

The Trump administration is proposing a sharp slowdown in Medicaid spending that would shift more than $1 trillion over 10 years by steering the entitlement

 

When he first ran for president, Donald Trump blasted the Obama administration for hurting senior citizens by slashing billions from Medicare.

 

The secretary of health and human services endured hours of bipartisan grilling over the president’s budget for 2020, including cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and health research.

 

The federal government spends billions of dollars each year helping communities rebuild after disasters and to prevent future damage. But that money isn’t always allocated to those who need it most.

 

Chicagoans in mostly black neighborhoods are still more likely to live far from trauma centers than those in white neighborhoods — though the gap has shrunk dramatically since University of Chicago Medicine opened its trauma center last year, according to a new study.

 

Starting April 1, Philadelphia will get its own day-work program, with a few unique twists.

 

“SNAP is an anti-hunger program — full stop,” one expert said. “It’s not supposed to encourage people to work. It’s supposed to end hunger in our country.”

 

A proposal that would make it harder to obtain work-rule exemptions — a move designed to encourage people to find jobs — has social service agencies worried that the poor would be hurt.

 

“It is dangerous,” said the head of a Puerto Rican nonprofit group that provides food to the homeless. “People don’t have enough money to buy food already.”

 

A number of schools have introduced laundry rooms to try to help low-income students make it to class. The goal is to “take the stigma out of getting help,” one principal said.

 

To unlock the benefits of going to college, you need to earn a degree. But average completion rates in the U.S. are surprisingly low and can vary widely depending on what type of school you attend.

 

March 4 – 8, 2019

Employers increased payrolls by only 20,000 in February, a stark contrast to the two preceding months.

 

The economy added far fewer jobs than expected in February, a slowdown from much stronger gains in December and January. But the jobless rate fell to 3.8 percent, and earnings growth picked up.

 

Health analysts say the decrease might mean that more kids are going without the health care they need.

 

General Assistance is for low-income residents who need help, but don’t qualify for traditional welfare because they don’t have dependents.

 

Some cities slap liens on homes for unpaid bills, then sell those liens to the highest bidder.

 

An anti-displacement program in San Francisco requiring the city to offer significant portions of affordable housing developments to people who live in the areas where they’re built appears to be performing as planned since it began around two years ago.

 

A growing number of people are becoming homeless late in life, say researchers who attribute the finding to the lack of an adequate safety net for poorer senior citizens.

 

The national Hispanic poverty rate fell to an all time low in 2017, continuing a years long downward trend, according to U.S. Census Bureau…

 

In cities, dollar stores trade in economic despair, with many residents saying they are a vital source of cheap staples. But as the stores cluster in low-income neighborhoods, critics worry they are not just a response to poverty — but a cause. Residents fear the stores deter other businesses.

 

Some states can revoke your job license if you fall behind. Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced legislation that would outlaw that practice.

 

For some people in Newport News and Hampton, broadband internet is too expensive. Agencies and organizations have developed programs to help provide access.

 

Companies are using gimmicks and fine print to lure low-income taxpayers into hiring them for tax preparation, often charging far greater fees than what other preparers would charge for the same service.

 

February 25 – March 1, 2019

Cutting the child poverty rate in half would cost $91 billion to $109 billion, the researchers estimated – but could save many times that.

 

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine lays out how to cut child poverty in half in 10 years.

 

While some officials urge expansion of the Medicare system, several states are mulling a different way to ensure residents have affordable coverage: help them buy into a Medicaid-like plan.

 

There’s a gender imbalance in many African-American neighborhoods. Mass incarceration is largely to blame.

 

Racial clauses in deeds were explicit about who could and could not buy. And while unenforceable, the language is still on the books today.

 

Residents of a South Carolina public housing complex are demanding answers after two of their neighbors died from the gas.

 

Everyone agrees that America’s foster care system needs reform. But some worry the new law may do more harm than good.

 

A foster care training program in Rhode Island had a 90 percent dropout rate.

 

Dozens of Kansas’s 7,500 foster care children go missing each year. Under a proposed law, the state would have to inform the governor and the legislature when a child goes missing or stays overnight in an office.

 

More than a third of Washington’s foster kids become homeless after leaving care. But in Tennessee, there’s a possible solution, and Washington is looking at copying it.

 

Funders and policymakers across the country are looking to the Mason County Housing Options for Students in Transition (HOST) program for inspiration to ending youth homelessness.

 

In her State of the City speech, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said 7,400 households left homelessness for housing last year. That’s not true.