ERIC Number: ED359270
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The States and the Poor. How Budget Decisions in 1991 Affected Low Income People.
Shapiro, Isaac; And Others
This study describes how poor people fared in the state tax and spending decisions made in 1991, a year marked by the most serious fiscal crisis for the states since the recessions of the early 1980s. These decisions primarily affected fiscal year 1992 state budgets, which typically began in July 1991. The report focuses on income support, medical care, housing assistance, and tax policy. The reductions made in state low-income programs predominantly affect those with little or no income in addition to government support, the very poorest of the poor. By contrast, the budget cuts of 1981 primarily affected the poor and near-poor who worked and had some other source of income. Benefits in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program were reduced more than in any year since 1981, with 40 states freezing or cutting benefits. Medicaid and corrections costs have been rising rapidly for some time due to sharply escalating health care costs, Medicaid eligibility expansions, and increases in the prison population. Education costs are also climbing, with school enrollments now on the rise. State cuts for fiscal year 1992 are likely to hit the poor more severely than any in recent memory. Most states raised taxes that take a larger share of income from the poor than those with higher incomes. It is projected that the situation will worsen in 1992. Whether or not the Federal Government plays a more constructive role, key policy decisions remain in the hands of the states. Statistical data on the economic situation are provided in seven tables. Additional state summaries are appended. (SLD)
Descriptors: Budgeting, Children, Economic Impact, Economically Disadvantaged, Family Financial Resources, Federal Aid, Financial Policy, Homeless People, Low Income Groups, Low Income States, Poverty, Public Policy, Resource Allocation, Retrenchment, State Government, State Programs, Welfare Recipients
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Henry Luce Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Washington, DC.; State Univ. of New York, Albany. Nelson A. Rockefeller Inst. of Government.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children