Monday, July 27, 2009

Task force on poverty begins in Colorado

Colorado state government has begun a task force to examine ways the state can cut it's the numbers of poor people. Members of the task force are trying to look at economic solutions as well as government assistance.

This Associated Press article that we found at, writer Steven K. Paulson describes the task force goals.

Rep. John Kefalas, a Democrat from Fort Collins who chairs the Economic Opportunity Reduction Task Force Committee, said the 10-member committee will look at the root causes of poverty and try to determine why some parts of the state have more poverty than others.

"We've given ourselves a year, to December of 2010, to put together a plan of action," Kefalas said.

Jodie Levin-Epstein, spokeswoman for the Center for Law and Social Policy, a nonprofit organization focused on laws and policies that affect poverty, told lawmakers that Colorado is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to dealing with the issue.

She said people who are trying to get out of poverty are stymied by poverty measures that are based on life in the past century, when moms stayed at home and husbands were the breadwinner. She said lawmakers have failed to take into account the cost of health care, transportation and tax policies that make it difficult for families to escape poverty.

"We need to figure out ways to make work work," she told the panel.

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