Balancing the needs of all of Rhode Island’s residents and putting resources into worthy programs is what an effective government is about. When Rhode Island uses a tiny fraction of its revenue to support the Family Independence Program, they are not giving money away. I would like to quote Geoff Schoos, candidate for State Senate in Rhode Island, who summarized why the FIP program is so valuable:
The FIP works. People who leave the program start jobs well above minimum wage. They become consumers of goods and services and contribute tax dollars for the acquisition of public goods. Moreover, more people who leave Rhode Islandâ€™s FIP remain off the program than do their counterparts in Massachusetts and Connecticut. And, according to the stateâ€™s own annual FIP report, less than 10% of those in the program came from out-of-state â€“ hardly supporting the detractorsâ€™ derision of the program as some sort of state sponsored welfare haven.
Right now the budget contains a proposed cut of $5.9 million to the Family Independence Program, a program which supports impoverished families as they train and prepare to enter the workforce. There are 22,000 children — 42% of whom are under age 6 — who will be hurt by these cuts.
One Rhode Island is doing an action today to contact Speaker Murphy and Chairman Costantino:
One Rhode Island Action Alert
22,000 CHILDREN ARE AT RISK
CALL SPEAKER MURPHY (222-2466) AND CHAIRMAN COSTANTINO (222-8028) AND TELL THEM NOT TO CUT THE FAMILY INDEPENDENCE PROGRAM
Spending down by 24%
Enrollment down by 35%
(Since the start of the Program in 1997)
Current State Spending: $13 million
Proposed Budget Cuts: $5.9 million