Monday, December 5, 2022

Play

A Louisiana Public Service Commission runoff could affect energy policy, LGBTQ advocates await final passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, and democracy gets a voter-approved overhaul in Oregon.

Play

An election law theory critics say could cause chaos is before the Supreme Court, lawmakers condemn former President Trump's idea to suspend the Constitution, and Democrats switch up the presidential primary calendar.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Nebraska Denies Emergency Assistance to 90% of Poor Families

Play

Wednesday, January 5, 2022   

Nebraska and other states are hoarding more than $5 billion intended for struggling families, according to
new analysis.

In 2019, for every 100 Nebraska families living in poverty, only 17 were getting cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program. Ashley Burnside, a policy analyst with the Center for Law and Social Policy, explained that states gradually have been closing the door to federal funds, even during the pandemic.

"States have changed the eligibility requirements for the program," she said, "and it's become harder and harder for parents to access the program - despite there being a high level of financial need in the state."

According to federal data, Nebraska - along with Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas - denied nearly 90% of applications from families seeking emergency relief. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the agency charged with distributing TANF funds, has not yet responded to a request for comments.

Welfare reforms passed under the Clinton administration gave broad leeway to states for how TANF funds should be distributed, and a provision meant to prevent hoarding was left out of the final legislation. Some officials have warned that welfare discourages work and creates dependency, but Burnside noted that most families living in poverty already are working, and government assistance has been readily available to banks and industry.

"Just because families are poor, that doesn't mean that the government shouldn't be there to support them when they're having a financial emergency," she said, "and it's not a child's fault if their parents cannot secure a job."

Burnside said she believes keeping money intended for families with children is short-sighted, because investing in children's well-being pays off down the road. When kids have stable housing and nutrition, they do better in school, earn better wages as adults and become financially independent.

"When you're hoarding the money and not providing it to families as they're facing poverty, that doesn't do anything to help the child," she said. "States shouldn't be sitting on money that they have when they could be providing emergency financial support to families that are just barely making it month to month."


get more stories like this via email
Small cell facilities are often attached to utility poles within the public right-of-way. (Oxford Science/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Thousands of wireless transmitters could pop up across unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County in the next few years if the Board of Supervisors ap…


Health and Wellness

As winter looms in Missouri, health officials are expressing concern over the potential for three viruses to impact facilities. This season has …

Social Issues

Research says 80% of community-college students intend to transfer to complete a bachelor's degree, but only 14% do so within six years. …


Around 21 million American children receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but only half of them receive free breakfast despite being eligible, according to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Advocates for children say up to 7,000 students in New Hampshire public schools are going hungry following the rejection of a federal program for low-…

Social Issues

By Carrie Baker for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Roz Brown for Texas News Service reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service …

A caucus is not an election; it's a political party gathering in which party members choose candidates for an election. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

For the first time in almost 50 years, Iowa will not hold the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses for Democrats. The national party has ousted …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska is one of a dozen states experiencing "very high" levels of influenza, and the highest percentage of cases has been in children and young …

Environment

Tribal representatives from across the Northwest are flying into Washington, D.C. this week to discuss how mine waste in British Columbia is …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021