Intergenerational poverty reporting bill advances in Senate

The Senate gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill that would require the Utah Department of Workforce to examine its public assistance data with the aim of creating policies to end intergenerational poverty.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said he feared the study would be no more effective than research into “why marriages fail or why kids drop out of school.”
“I doubt the results will be honestly worth the effort,” he said during debate on the bill’s second reading in the Senate on Friday.
But the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, said changes in practice and policy are needed. Regardless whether a family’s poverty is chronic or episodic due to a job loss or illness, public assistance programs are administered the same.
“If we don’t do something different, we know the next generation of children will be victims of poverty and the next generation of children will be victims of poverty,” said Reid, sponsor of SB37.
The bill advanced to a final reading in the Senate on a 27-1 vote.

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