In the House and Senate budget proposals for fiscal year 2016, passed with only Republican votes at the end of March, there are big winners and big losers. The big winners are defense spending and contractors and very wealthy people and powerful special interests. The big losers are children, our poorest group in America, and struggling low- and middle-income families.
Illinois' poverty rate is the highest it's been in about 55 years, says a new study by the Social Impact Research Center. It's been on a steady rise for the last fifteen years, with 14.7 percent of Illinoisans now living at or below the poverty line as defined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
We're all aware of income inequality and the need for initiatives to address common societal issues. Yet we don't often hear about whether programs meant to help people really solve the problems at hand, because few steps are taken to actually assess the outcomes, leaving evaluation of the initiatives to little more than a gut feeling.