February 25, 2016

“Today, Governor Sam Brownback held a press conference to share the success of restricting access to the state safety net, including the implementation of last year’s HOPE Act. Unfortunately, Kansas’ safety net is serving fewer and fewer children and families, despite persistently high levels of need.

The majority of Kansans served by the safety net are children. Any credible analysis of policies that further shrink the state’s safety net must include the impact that these policies have on the state’s poorest children.

A true measure of success would be the number of Kansans leaving public assistance programs because they earn too much to qualify. Instead, the data presented today shows that Kansas adults are losing food assistance because they aren’t able to find enough work and earn too little. These policy changes do not promote self-sufficiency – they only force some of the state’s poorest Kansans to go hungry.

Research shows that safety net programs make a difference in the lives of Kansans, especially children. Rather than further eroding the safety net, the Governor and policymakers should strengthen public assistance programs in our state, so that families can meet basic needs in the short term and so that children have the chance to succeed in life.”

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