Protecting the Safety Net in Tough Times: Lessons from the States
In a new report released this week, policy analysts at the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), a research center based at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, explain how, even in a serious economic downturn, several states are protecting their safety nets for families and children in those states.
“Because of state balanced-budget requirements, policymakers are generally compelled to cut spending, seek new sources of revenue, or undertake both actions when revenues fall below projections,” writes Curtis Skinner, PhD, director of Family Economic Security at NCCP. “Raising taxes and fees on individuals and businesses during an economic downturn may dampen consumer and business spending and prolong the downturn. Nevertheless, from the economic security perspective of low-income Americans, it is far preferable to cutting social safety net spending.”
A number of states have taken bold and creative revenue initiatives that have helped them protect critical safety net spending, explains Skinner. Unless otherwise noted, the measures listed below are those successfully enacted by states in fiscal year 2012.
Find an excerpt and a link to the full report in the link below.