General Policy

Let’s be honest about food stamp work requirements…

The following is a guest blog post from Sheila Christopher, Executive Director of Hunger-Free Pennsylvania. The post originally appeared on their blog here.

The House Health Committee recently approved a measure (H.B. 1659) that would impose mandatory work requirements for all able-bodied food stamp recipients. The legislation is now being fast-tracked for consideration before the full House.

Mandatory work requirements sound reasonable … until you know the facts.

One in seven Pennsylvanians currently use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, to help buy the food they need to survive and feed their families. SNAP helps keep food on the table for thousands of low-wage and part-time workers who can’t find steady employment, veterans, people who are homeless, and people struggling with addictions, in addition to children, seniors, and people with disabilities.

SNAP Works for Pennsylvania Children

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps PA families put food on the table. But we know now that it accomplishes much more than that.

Research increasingly shows that SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, can ward against the long-term effects on children of experiencing poverty, abuse or neglect, parental substance abuse or mental illness, and exposure to violence—events that can take a toll on their well-being as adults.  As a new Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report finds, SNAP helps form a strong foundation of health and well-being for low-income children by lifting millions of families out of poverty, improving food security, and helping improve health and academic achievement with long-lasting consequences. 

It’s doing all that across Pennsylvania. SNAP is improving our children’s futures.

KRC/PBPC Insider News for the Week Ending January 8, 2016

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Goodbye and good riddance 2015… A bruising and historic budget fight ended in an unsatisfactory stalemate with the governor’s signing and blue-lining of an inadequate budget passed by the General Assembly after the House and Senate walked away from a negotiated compromise. Education funding remains far from resolved, but school districts did receive enough funding to keep the doors open in the new year.

Newt to Blame for the Obamacare Website (?) and the Closing of the Office of Technology Assessment

One of my standard phrases since I came to Pennsylvania in December 1995 to launch Keystone Research Center is that "Newt Gingrich eliminated my old job and created my new job."

Celebrate #GivingTuesday With Us

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Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that was started last year as an opportunity at the start of the Giving Season to support important causes that help create a better world.

On this #GivingTuesday, please consider the Keystone Research Center (KRC) and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) in your donation dollars.

PA Budget and Policy Center Launches Redesigned Web Site

In case you missed it last week, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) launched a redesigned web site, making it easier to access the center's analysis, commentaries, blog posts, webinars, and much more. The site has a new look, but more importantly it puts everything you need right at your fingertips:

Can the Right Afford to Acknowledge Low Upward Mobility in the U.S.?

Michael Laracy of the Annie E. Casey Foundation emailed around an opinion piece by Fareed Zakaria on the boffo new study on upward mobility in the United States. The Zakaria piece appeared in the Amazon, I mean Bezos, I mean Washington Post.

Morning Must Reads: One Bidder? What Could Go Wrong?

The Keystone Research Center does not oppose the use of private contractors to provide services to federal, state and local governments as a matter of philosophy.

On pragmatic grounds, we DO support good governance, including carefully assessing the costs and benefits of privatization. Too often privatization is a goal in and of itself and good governance — careful weighing of pros and cons — isn't even in the vocabulary of privatization advocates.

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