Voices from the Edge on 04/07/11
Harming poor kids: a look at Gov. Kitzhaber's proposed "reform" of TANF
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, better known as TANF, provides poor families with cash assistance for basic necessities while also offering parents job training to get them into the workforce. Even in the best of economic times, it is an essential safety net for thousands of Oregon families. Governor Kitzhaber is proposing what has been called "draconian" changes to the program that would limit eligibility, reduce an already meager cash payment and impose an 18-month lifetime limit in the midst of a recession marked by record long-term unemployment. While the governor's plan may cut TANF costs, it may also swell the ranks of homeless families and children in foster care.
This week, Jo Ann and Dave spoke with Janet Bauer of Oregon Center for Public Policy about the governor's reforms and how it is being received in the legislature. Bauer is one of the authors of a new report by OCPP, Oregon Can Do Better Than Harm Poor Kids, that examines the impacts of the proposed changes to TANF.
Jo Ann Bowman is a former state legislator, former executive director of Oregon Action and past board president of Portland Community Media as well as a long-time leader in the struggle for racial and economic justice. Dave Mazza is a freelance Journalist and former editor of the Portland Alliance who has covered and been involved in Portland's civil rights, environmental, labor and peace movements for over 20 years.
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Co-Hosts: Jo Ann Bowman and Dave Mazza
Producers: Dave Mazza and Jo Ann Bowman
Program Engineer: Steve Nassar
Audio Editor: Alicia Olson