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University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Poverty Dispatch

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

May 20 -24, 2019

Infant mortality rates have dropped in expansion states and risen in nonexpansion states.


By looking at the difference between women’s insurance coverage and the health outcomes of moms and babies, researchers at Georgetown University Center for Children and Families show that states that have not expanded Medicaid have worse maternal and infant health outcomes compared to the states that have expanded Medicaid.


Religious and ideological opposition to vaccines has fueled the current measles outbreak. But there’s another factor driving low vaccination rates in some communities: poverty.


New studies shed light on how low-income children can beat the odds that are against them in school and beyond.


There’s a problem with the Trump administration’s proposal that Secretary Ben Carson defended before Congress on Tuesday. Local authorities don’t want to enforce it.


LAX airport noise has plagued a nearby Inglewood neighborhood that the city bypassed when it spent millions soundproofing homes in wealthier areas.


Gov. Newsom wants to give cities and counties $650 million to get homeless people into housing quickly. But the status quo is unlikely to change anytime soon.


Higher education officials are calling on Congress to fix a provision in the Trump administration’s tax overhaul that has caused unintended tax increases.



Trump signed a memorandum requiring the sponsors of legal immigrants to reimburse the government for any safety net programs they benefit from.


May 13 – 17, 2019

A CDC survey shows that 1.1 million more Americans were uninsured in 2018, an increase fueled by changes to the Affordable Care Act.


On Monday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the nation’s first “public option” health insurance bill. Other states aren’t far behind.


Indiana could become the first state to offer up to $1,000 over 12 months to soften the pinch of healthcare costs to people who leave Medicaid.


No region has as many high-disparity states clustered together as the South.


Evictions rates were substantially higher in Chicago’s majority African American neighborhoods, the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing found in a report.


Public housing officials estimate that it would cost $50 billion to fix up buildings that have fallen into disrepair nationwide. The Trump administration is calling for more private investment.


A proposed rule would target, and likely displace, thousands of immigrant families in New York City.


The Illinois Senate is poised to vote on a bill, already approved by the House, to allow some food stamp recipients to redeem benefits at restaurants.


Starting in June, the state will end a decades-old rule that excludes people receiving certain cash benefits from food stamps.


Steady economic growth hasn’t lifted the fortunes of millions of Americans amid mounting housing and medical costs


May 6 – 10, 2019

The proposal could result in cuts in federal aid to millions of low-income Americans.


The possible change involves a different inflation measure to adjust the poverty threshold annually. Anti-poverty groups worry that many low-income people would be pushed off assistance programs.


The Trump administration has taken a step toward changing the way the poverty threshold is calculated, a move that could strip many low-income Americans of their federal benefits.


African-American, Native American and Alaska Native women are about three times more likely to die from causes related to pregnancy, compared to white women in the United States.


Black women in the U.S. are about three times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause as others.


For years in prison, Kristan Kerr looked forward to one thing every month: a visit from her daughter. “I just watched her grow all the way up,” she says.


The public defender wants to end bail without using a controversial risk-assessment tool. Many defendants would not even be arrested, instead receiving a summons; the rest would receive individualized detention hearings.


Under a reform bill, anyone arrested for a crime who is able to pay their bail would be permitted to post it and get out of jail. Those unable to pay, however, would have to see a judge within 48 hours of their arrest to limit pre-conviction jail time.


The data shows that the average bond amount fell from $5,000 to $1,000, while the percentage of inmates picking up new charges while on bond dropped.


WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development acknowledged that a Trump administration plan to purge undocumented immigrants from public housing could displace more than 55,000 children, all of whom are legal U.S. residents or citizens.


About 110,000 low-to median-income students will qualify for help each year, including adults who never got a degree and want to go to school. There will be no more financial-aid wait lists.


State law already prohibits school districts from withholding diplomas for nonpayment of fees. Legal Aid attorneys believe that should include school lunch debt.


The superintendent of the Warwick Public School District said the school committee would vote next week on a proposal to reverse the policy.