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

Month: November 2019

November 18 – 26, 2019

Walter Stokely is a public defender in Kansas City, Missouri, who says he has too many cases to effectively represent his clients. John Picerno was driven out of the system and is now a successful attorney.


Missouri’s poor public defender system leaves people in jail for years waiting to go to court. A Kansas City Star project investigated conditions in the indigent defense offices and courts of the state.


Two states this year passed laws to fight youth homelessness.


Trump administration officials appear poised to release a new homelessness strategy, which has California officials wary and poised for battle.


Neighborhoods with higher poverty rates face many challenges, including lower educational attainment, greater reliance on public assistance, and higher rates of people who are uninsured.


Despite Kentucky’s efforts to improve the child welfare system, fewer Kentucky kids removed from their home because of abuse or neglect are being reunited with their families, a new study finds.


Some new Chicago parents will now receive free visits by nurses at home three weeks after a baby is born.


About 50,000 Cook County residents who receive food stamps are going to have to find jobs next year — or risk losing their benefits. Starting Jan. 1, food stamp recipients in Cook County who are able-bodied, under the age of 50 and not living with children or other dependents will be restricted to three months of food assistance in a three-year period unless they work at least 30 hours a week.


Residents in Elliot Park say healthy, affordable food is hard to come by in their neighborhood.


Mobile and farmers markets are among the cream of the crop when it comes to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in low-income comm…


Area residents are finding alternate ways to shop for food at grocery stores amid food desert in Franklin.


From 2016 to 2019, millions flowed into communities that have not qualified for the HUBZone program since 2013.


Low-income students are only half as likely to graduate from college as their more affluent peers even when they attended top suburban high schools, according to Globe analysis of first-of-its-kind state education data.


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.