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

Month: October 2018

October 22-26, 2018

Poor Texans have fewer places to turn for help paying utility bills after the state eliminated a program that subsidized electricity bills during the hot summer months and a federal program has far too little money to meet the needs of residents struggling to keep on the lights, air conditioning and heat. In Texas, only about 4 percent of people eligible for federal utility assistance under income guidelines are able to receive help, compared to about 16 percent nationally, according to the state Public Utilities Commission and the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan agency that does public policy research for Congress.


A report by a national nonprofit organization estimates that millions of Americans have had their water shut off because they could not afford their water bill with the greatest numbers in Oklahoma.


Researchers whose findings last year pointed to a downside from raising the minimum wage have taken another look and the reality is more nuanced.


St. Louis raised its own minimum wage in 2015. But after court battles and an override from the Legislature, the city is turning to Proposition B.


More than half of Missouri’s poorest residents are paying more than half of their yearly income in rent. Non-profit leaders at two Missouri organizations


Reducing maternal mortality by half, California is U.S. outlier in “despicable” trend.


“Job growth is not sufficient by itself to create upward mobility.”



October 15-19, 2018

One out of every 10 students lived in temporary housing during the last school year.


Evictions. Homelessness. Discontent with schools. Student mobility in Milwaukee slows learning and challenges classrooms.


Counties exempt from work rules are nearly all white, a study found. High black-poverty areas face more stringent rules.


The Department of Homeland Security is proposing changes to make sure immigrants seeking green cards or temporary visas are not overly dependent on government assistance.


More than two-thirds of Medicaid recipients are enrolled in privately run Medicaid managed care programs. Yet the evidence is thin these contractors improve patient care or save the government money.


Government report: Low-income people in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid much more likely to forgo care.


Nearly 70 Republican state lawmakers want Montana to have a work requirement for people who qualify for Medicaid under its expanded program.


Oakland residents at risk of homelessness could qualify for emergency rent checks and legal representation under a new program announced Monday by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and three Bay Area nonprofits. At a City Hall news conference, Schaaf and executives from the East Bay Community Law Center, Catholic Charities of the East Bay and Bay Area Community Services presented a $9 million pilot plan called Keep Oakland Housed, which is designed to provide support services for low-income city residents.


States are beginning to intervene in zoning rules, once a purely local matter.


Despite committing $124 million to build homes for families with low incomes, the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte, NC, has grown worse. Leaders want voters to approve more in bonds in November.


The Inquirer and Daily News, along with WHYY, traveled to Seattle, one of four major cities with a fair-workweek measure.


Enforcement is key, plus other lessons from Seattle, which enacted a scheduling law more than a year ago.



October 8-12, 2018

Several states will hold the first referendum on Obamacare since Congressional Republicans tried and failed to repeal it.


Thousands of low-income residents who don’t have health insurance are skimping on medications or passing up on treatment as they wait for access to Medicaid coverage that voters approved 11 months ago.


Thousands of Arkansas Works enrollees who were terminated from the program on Monday for failure to comply with the program’s work requirement have until 9 p.m. today to attempt to have their health coverage restored.


With hiring strong and unemployment ultra-low, employers could run out of skilled workers to hire


Black teen unemployment fell to 19.3 percent in September, lowest on record. A healthy labor market is providing more opportunities.


Many landlords are now refusing to accept vouchers when they can get higher rents, without the bureaucratic red tape, on the open market.


The study is the first in decades to look at the likelihood of becoming homeless over the course of one’s life.


What’s changed for Alabama children in the past 25 years? It’s a mixed bag, according to the 25th edition of the Alabama Kids Count Data Book, released this week. The aim of the book is to provide a snapshot of…


The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to stop accepting payment and cancel all debt on fees that were previously charged by the Probation Department to cover the costs of incarcerating youths.


At the Marriott credit union, with unusually high fees, service workers find further stress on thin paychecks while better-paid employees get deals.