On behalf of the Oregon Business Plan, OBC’s Poverty Reduction Task Force has been active the past two years in advocating state policies and investments aimed at reducing poverty in Oregon. In this effort, the task force is working with community organizations long involved in advocating for poverty reduction.
The task force supports Business Plan recommendations to strengthen education attainment and career skills, build up rural economies where poverty is most severe, and enact policies to make the social safety net work and to make work pay.
In the 2016 legislative session, the task force expects to focus its advocacy on increasing the utilization of the earned income tax credit (EITC) and increasing the EITC for families with young children. As an example, see this statement by task force chair Dave Underriner at a February 3 hearing of the House Housing and Human Services Committee.
The 2015 Legislature adopted a number of policy and budget recommendations to help reduce Oregon’s high poverty rate.
These included reinvestment in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), expansion of employer related day care, increased child care tax credits, and continuation of the Individual Development Account program that helps low-income families build financial security. See our 2015 summary of poverty reduction proposals and how the Legislature responded.
The 13th Oregon Leadership Summit on December 14, 2015, focused on Oregon’s economic progress the past few years, but also warned about economic and political headwinds in the year ahead. The event drew more than 1,200 business, political, and civic leaders. See coverage and photos. Read the Policy Playbook.
National poverty expert David Riemer recently presented a five-point plan that he argued could reduce poverty nationally by as much as half.
Riemer is a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His talk, at Portland State University, was hosted by the OBC Poverty Task Force and the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State. Here is a slide show and a brief that accompanied his talk. Also, read about simulation modeling of the five-point plan, Reducing Poverty in the United States.
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