Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
Change in state government, as in other large public and private organizations, is an uphill battle. In social and health service agencies, public officials seeking change face myriad challenges, including frequent turnover, limited funding, and lengthy legal and regulatory processes. Despite these obstacles, change is possible and is often driven by strong leaders. In this brief focused on leadership, we examine how state government officials in Colorado and Illinois, two states participating in the Work Support Strategies project, seized opportunities, addressed challenges, and led change.
This report is the first state-level projection of ACA coverage gains for racial/ethnic groups. Absent ACA coverage provisions, Latinos, blacks, and American Indian/Alaska Natives are overrepresented among the uninsured. With the ACA and current state Medicaid expansion decisions, uninsurance rates are projected to fall for each racial/ethnic group, narrowing coverage differences between whites and each minority group, except for blacks. If all states were to expand their Medicaid programs, we project that uninsurance rates would fall further for all racial/ethnic groups, with blacks experiencing a marked reduction. Effective outreach can further reduce uninsurance rates for all racial/ethnic groups
Puerto Rico eliminated its work tax credit (WC) in 2014. The credit, which was established in 2006, delivered benefits to 45 percent of all tax filers in 2013 at a total cost $124 million. The maximum credit was $450. This report assess the experience with the WC from 2007 to 2013 and suggests elements for a possible redesign that rewards and stimulates work, reduces hardship, strengthens the tax base, and offsets regressivity in ways that are consistent with current tax reform proposals in Puerto Rico.
This report summarizes a review aimed at helping the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) more efficiently manage annual appropriations from multiple budgetary accounts that fund child care services. It combines an analysis of the spending history of these accounts, a review of current forecasting models, and information from key stakeholders and staff. The report concludes with suggestions for EEC to consider as it continues to improve its management of spending on subsidized child care. It is the first of several products prepared as part of a legislatively mandated assessment of the state’s subsidized child care system.