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University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Poverty Dispatch

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

November 11 – 15, 2019

Fed research suggested higher minimum wages did not cost jobs in border counties. Industry-level analysis and real-life stories back that up — with caveats.




Philadelphia City Council took a step toward offering relief from the city’s wage tax for low-income workers when a Council committee unanimously voted for legislation that would offer tax refunds to such workers.


A new deal between the Texas Lottery and Dollar General has critics worried the state is pushing product to lower-income players.


Ex-felons in Florida had their right to vote restored through Amendment 4. Within months, Florida’s Legislature tried to limit the effect of the initiative.


Research by an MIT grad student shows eviction “execution rates” are 15 times higher in Roxbury than in Beacon Hill.


Republicans show new willingness to break with party orthodoxy to extend coverage.


The findings bolster previous research, and have implications for Philadelphia, the nation’s poorest big city, where many neighborhoods carry the toxic legacy of their industrial pasts.


Ohio Medicaid approves plan of state’s largest managed-care network, Dayton-based Caresource, to dump Walgreens


November 4 – 8, 2019

About 1.6 million people in California quality for CalFresh food stamps but don’t get them. College students, immigrants, the homeless and seniors are the most likely to miss out on receiving the state benefit.


An exodus of grocery stores is turning rural towns into food deserts. But some are fighting back by opening their own local markets.


A new analysis indicates that rising prices have been quietly taxing low-income families more heavily than rich ones.


October’s power shut-offs by PG&E struck some of the Bay Area’s wealthiest enclaves in places like Marin County, but hit harder in isolated, rural parts of Lake, Butte and Humboldt counties, where many people live in poverty.


Board-and-care homes — created to care for those who cannot care for themselves — are being squeezed out of business by an antiquated state funding system.


People on Medicaid who work rural seasonal jobs in Montana are wondering about the future of their access to health coverage. Montana recently passed a law


TennCare currently provides postpartum health insurance to low-income mothers for just two months after birth.


Colorado, like a number of states, is struggling with huge piles of returned mail linked to public aid programs such as Medicaid or food stamps. But is dropping people from such assistance the answer?


What happens to you in childhood can affect your health for a lifetime. New data show a link between childhood trauma and disease later in life. Prevention is critical, public health experts say.



The administration says it is stomping out fraud in Lifeline, a cellphone subsidy. Critics say it is part of a campaign to cut assistance programs.


Public flagship universities are critical for low-income students because they serve as engines for upward mobility. But a new report finds they’re often out of reach financially.


October 28 – November 1, 2019

The Labor Department’s October data surpassed expectations. Another 95,000 were added in revisions to previous months.


The State of Tennessee has more than $700 million in unused federal block grant fund. The surplus becomes concerning without a plan.


Advocates say even more could lose free lunch as cuts ripple across schools, but Trump administration says those concerns are overblown.


Kaiser will begin sending text messages to 600,000 members in California to encourage them to sign up for CalFresh, or food stamps, which has been shown to reduce patient medical expenses.


Indiana will not kick people off of Medicaid for failing to meet the work requirement, as a lawsuit against the plan makes its way through the courts.


Under pressure from the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania legislature to require Medicaid recipients to work as a condition for coverage, state health


When Leah Post started using a tool meant to prioritize the most vulnerable people she worked with for a shot at housing, she noticed something was off.  People walking through the doors of her human services organization were disproportionately people of color. But the assessment tool she was using, a mouthful called the Vulnerability Index —…


“Every school in the country would be affected,” one expert said. “There could be a lot of litigation.”


The study found that minority students paid a heavy toll under Texas’ controversial policies.


A new study of Syrian teen refugees finds the poverty of their current lives may cloud parts of their thinking more than the experience of war.


A lawsuit filed against the South Carolina DMV claims that the department’s practice of suspending the driver’s licenses of those who can’t afford to pay traffic tickets targets the state’s poor residents.


A ProPublica-New Yorker story about black land loss was cited by the legislation’s sponsor before the near-unanimous vote.


The city of Philadelphia has announced new steps to thwart those who steal houses from unsuspecting owners.