CSG Midwest

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law nine welfare reform bills as part of what he has called his  Wisconsin Works for Everyone” plan.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the bills require able-bodied FoodShare program participants with school-age dependents to work 30 hours per week (up from 20); create drug testing and work requirements for public housing programs; and put asset limits on the FoodShare and Welfare to Work programs, excluding those with homes valued at or above $321,000 and personal vehicles worth more than $20,000.

For the first time since the Great Recession, the population of American citizens experiencing homelessness has increased.[1] Extreme levels of poverty, coupled with the steadily rising cost of housing in major cities, has made finding and maintaining housing for some virtually impossible. Homelessness in America is more prevalent among the youth population with an estimated number of at least 700,000 youth age 13-17 and 3.5 million kids aged 18-25...

CSG Midwest
A yearlong pilot program in Michigan to screen welfare recipients for drug use found no substance abusers, legislators were told. The program tested 14 of 443 participants (either applicants or recipients) of the state’s Family Independence Program in three counties between October 2015 and September 2016, according to The Detroit News.

In Virginia, 1 in 8 people struggles with hunger. Members of The Council of State Governments gathered at the culmination of the 2016 CSG National Conference Dec. 11 in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, to help address this need as part of the CSG Campaign Against Hunger initiative.

According to an annual survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 7.0 percent of U.S. households were “unbanked” in 2015, which means that no one in the household had a checking or savings account. That’s around 9 million households consisting of 15.6 million adults and 7.6 million children. The percentage of the population that is unbanked varies considerably across states, ranging from a low of less than 2 percent in New Hampshire and Vermont to more than 10 percent in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Louisiana has the highest rate at 14 percent.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides assistance to millions of low-income American individuals and families to help purchase groceries. As the American economy has improved over the last five years and more Americans have returned to work since the Great Recession of 2008, the monthly average of individuals participating in SNAP has largely declined.

On July 1, 2016, Arizona will become the first state in the nation to limit lifetime welfare benefits to twelve months. How does Arizona compare to other states in terms of placing restrictions on TANF benefit time limits? Here’s a state-by-state overview.

For as many as 1 million unemployed adults across the country, the federal food assistance clock is ticking. In January, work requirements for able-bodied, childless adults who receive federal SNAP benefits—formerly known as food stamps—were reinstated in 22 states across the country, following a temporary suspension of the requirements in recent years.

Seventeen percent of Tennessee’s population is considered food insecure and in need of food assistance. Members of The Council of State Governments gathered at the culmination of the 2015 CSG National Conference Dec. 13 in Nashville, Tenn. to help address the need in the Volunteer State as part of the CSG Campaign Against Hunger initiative.

State policymakers hear frequently from employers that they cannot find skilled workers for open positions. Many of these positions are middle-skill jobs that require some form of postsecondary training, but not a bachelor’s degree. This article discusses state strategies to close skill gaps and meet employer skill needs.

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