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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Day: August 3, 2018

July 2018 US Unemployment Rate

Medicaid Programs

  • Red states may be ready to expand Medicaid — in exchange for work, By Christine Vestal, July 30, 2018, Stateline: “Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he doesn’t want more able-bodied poor people to get Medicaid in his state unless a portion of them are required to work. And when Republicans in Virginia agreed to expand Medicaid this year, they also said recipients who are able would have to work. In several states this year, the march to bring health care benefits to more low-income residents came with the insistence that able-bodied adults — who are just a fraction of all Medicaid recipients — put in hours of work or volunteer time each month to retain the assistance…”
  • Trump spurns Medicaid proposal after furious White House debate, By Robert Pear, July 30, 2018, New York Times: “Hoping to head off a full expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, some senior officials in the Trump administration and Republican governors have been pushing hard for a smaller expansion to satisfy a growing political demand in their states. But President Trump decided on Friday to shut down the debate until after the midterm elections, administration officials said…”
  • Puerto Rico’s wounded Medicaid program faces even deeper cuts, By Sarah Varney and Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, August 1, 2018, National Public Radio: “Blue tarps still dot rooftops, homes lack electricity needed to refrigerate medicines, and clinics chip away at debts incurred from running generators. Yet despite these residual effects from last year’s devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rico is moving ahead with major cuts to its health care safety net that will affect more than a million of its poorest residents…”
  • Major changes whipsaw Kentucky Medicaid in recent weeks, By Deborah Yetter, July 27, 2018, Louisville Courier Journal: “Kentucky’s Medicaid program has undergone several major changes in recent weeks, confusing health providers and some of the 1.4 million Kentuckians covered by the government health plan. Here’s a look at the major developments…”

College Students and Food Insecurity

For many college students, hunger ‘makes it hard to focus’, By Michelle Andrews, July 31, 2018, National Public Radio: “As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it. This food insecurity is most prevalent at community colleges, but it’s common at public and private four-year schools as well…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Trump calls on Congress to attach work requirements to food stamps, By Caitlin Dewey, August 2, 2018, Washington Post: “President Trump on Thursday expressed support for House Republicans’ plan to tighten food-stamp work requirements, pressing Senate Republicans to adopt the provision even though it would probably doom a major bill’s chances of passing their chamber…”
  • New Yorkers can still use food stamps at farmers markets under new agreement, By Bethany Bump, July 303, 2018, Albany Times Union: “Nearly 3 million New Yorkers who receive food stamps can continue to use them at farmers markets around the state following a new agreement the state reached with a software technology company…”

Prison Education Programs

Throw the books at them: How more training for Wisconsin’s prisoners could help companies, By David D. Haynes, July 26, 2018, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Mike Williams finished high school at age 15, and by the time his classmates got around to receiving their own diplomas, he had another one: an associate’s degree in computer electronics at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He was judged as a bright young man by his instructors, someone who learned quickly. But Williams also ran with the wrong crowd in those days and made a series of poor decisions as a young man that would upend his promising life for many years. He sold marijuana and was imprisoned for the crime, then was sent back to prison on probation violations…”

Minimum Wage – Birmingham, AL

In battle pitting cities vs. states over minimum wage, Birmingham scores a win, By Yuki Noguchi, July 27, 2018, National Public Radio: “A federal appeals court handed workers in Birmingham, Ala., a significant win this week. The city is in a battle against state lawmakers over whether it has the right to raise its minimum wage…”

Low-Income Households and Utility Costs

High energy bills burden Atlanta’s low-income residents, By Anastaciah Ondieki, August 1, 2018, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Month after month, they come — dozens of families looking for financial assistance to keep their lights on, their air conditioning or heat running. These are the people who don’t qualify for government assistance or other local programs, said Kevin Murriel, the pastor at Cascade United Methodist Church in Fulton County. Yet, they still need help, he said, and will continue to — until some deep-seated societal and economic injustices are resolved…”

 

Child Poverty and Well-Being – New Jersey, Utah

  • NJ children face social, health barriers, report shows, by Nicole Leonard, July 31, 2018, Press of Atlantic City: “The early years of New Jersey’s youngest residents are crucial to childhood growth and development, yet some of the state’s 310,285 children under age 3 face challenges that threaten their potential to succeed and thrive, a new report has found. Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s new Babies Count report, which piggybacks on data from the organization’s Kids Count report, details health, financial, childcare, trauma and racial disparity issues that affect families and babies both in the short-term and long-term…”
  • Utah is reducing its child poverty rate, one piece of data at a time, By Renata Sago, July 30, 2018, Marketplace: “Shannon Starley and her team of case workers at Utah’s Division of Children and Family Services have a tough job. They help decide whether to remove kids from their parents’ custody. The agency investigated 21,093 cases last year. Many involved parents struggling with substance abuse. ‘A lot of mental health issues,’ Starley added. She said she has seen parents lose their kids, get them back, then lose them again…”