Senate Passes McIlhinney Resolution to Improve Programs for Working Families

HARRISBURG – State lawmakers could develop a better strategy to help low-income working families following Senate passage of a resolution today sponsored by Sen. Chuck McIlhinney (R-10).

Senate Resolution 62 directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) to study state programs targeted to help working families achieve self-sufficiency and develop a strategic plan to reduce the number of families living in poverty.

Under current law, minor increases in income can push working families slightly above income requirements for state assistance programs that make it possible for parents to work, such as child care and nutritional assistance. Also known as the “cliff effect,” this phenomenon often creates disincentives for poor families to earn more money, McIlhinney said.

The resolution requires LBFC to closely examine ways to mitigate the cliff effect and provide a more reasonable path to ease the transition from poverty to self-reliance.

“The current makeup of many state programs can create serious consequences that prevent low-income workers from climbing the ladder from poverty to financial independence,” McIlhinney said. “I am encouraged by the strong bipartisan interest in this approach to create economic opportunity for working families and improve programs that offer a reasonable path to self-sufficiency.”

CONTACT: Heather Cevasco (215) 489-5000