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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jun 8, 2016

National Anti-Poverty Group 'Alarmed' By Caseload Decline In Illinois' Welfare Program

Officials with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law are expressing concern over the declining caseload in Illinois' welfare program. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Apr 23, 2015

Low-Wage Jobs Cost Illinois Taxpayers $1 Billion Annually, Report Finds

Progress Illinois looks at the findings of a new report detailing the "hidden cost of low-wage work" at the national and state levels.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Nov 24, 2014

Lame Duck Congress Faces Tight Budget Deadline To Avert Government Shutdown

Federal lawmakers are up against a December 11 deadline to pass spending legislation to avert a government shutdown. Progress Illinois previews what's ahead for Congress in the remaining days of the lame duck session, including a possible budget showdown over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu May 30, 2013

Sequester Cuts Deal A Blow To The Long-Term Unemployed

The long-term unemployed in Illinois will soon see their weekly federal unemployment insurance payments reduced by an average of $51 as a result of the federal sequester cuts. We take a deeper look at the issue.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Mar 27, 2013

A Closer Look At TANF's Impact On The Needy In Illinois

The federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, what most people know as welfare, is set to expire at the end of the month and will need to be renewed. In the meantime, some anti-poverty advocates and welfare experts have raised questions about what impact the program has had in reducing poverty in Illinois and across the country and what can be done to reform it. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Mar 19, 2013

How The Ryan Budget Would Impact Food Assistance For The Needy

More than 2 million low-income individuals in Illinois rely on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for food aid, but the program could face a big setback under U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R, WI-1) proposed budget released last week.

Ryan’s plan aims to block grant the flexible SNAP program, which has about 47 million participants.

Under the plan, the federal government would give pots of cash to states to run the program, leaving them to customize it to their recipients’ needs and determine eligibility requirements.  

“Like Medicaid, SNAP suffers from a flawed structure,” the budget plan says. “States receive more money if they enroll more people in the program — so their incentive is to get people onto the rolls. They have little incentive to help people get off the rolls and find work. In fact, these programs make it harder to become independent.”

That’s not the right approach, said Beverly Henry, associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Northern Illinois University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
Wed Aug 8, 2012

Romney Mischaracterizes Welfare Waiver And Reform

Presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney claimed yesterday that a waiver issued by the Obama administration is a devastating blow to the 1996 bipartisan welfare reform act. Romney is wrong – about what the waiver says and how welfare reform policies are carried out in Illinois and across the country.

PI Original
by Adam Doster
Tue Dec 14, 2010

Mourning The Loss Of "Put Illinois To Work"

Don't let the critics fool you: Put Illinois To Work, Illinois' temporary jobs program for low-income workers, was a success.