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On March 23, Policy Advisor Gary MacDougal was a guest on NPR’s “The Jefferson Exchange,” broadcasted out of Southern Oregon University. MacDougal was on with host Geoffrey Riley to discuss the 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card and Oregon’s ‘F’ grade.
The 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card is an analysis of the welfare polices and outcomes of each of the 50 states. The states are given letter grades based on their programs and performance and ranked against each other. This 2015 edition of the report card is an update of the original published in 2008. MacDougal, the lead author of the report, was chairman of the Governor’s Task Force in Illinois, where he led an effort to help people from dependency to a state of self-sufficiency.
In the interview you can listen to with the player above, MacDougal explains that how the grades were formulated, with an emphasis on whether or not a state’s welfare programs use cash diversion, sanctions, and time limits. He explains how these factors improve the state welfare programs and encourage people to become more self-sufficient.
Among other things, Riley questions why Oregon received an ‘F’ grade while California got a ‘C’ — something that seems counter-intuitive. MacDougal responds by explaining the process in which the states were ranked and graded. One reason why Oregon ranked poorly was because the state lacked a cash diversion option and sanctions. MacDougal said, “Oregon can do better, we’d like to call attention to it and we’d like to help.”
If you would like more information on the 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card and to see where your state is ranked, visit our website. Included in the website is an interactive map as well as the full report.