Reforms are breaking the cycle of poverty
Since Gov. Sam Brownback first took office, more than 36,000 new employments have been reported by Kansans who were on welfare. After Kansas restored work requirements in the food assistance program in 2013 for able-bodied adults without dependent children, nearly 60 percent of those clients who left the program were employed within 12 months, and their incomes increased by an average of almost 130 percent during that first year. According to the latest Kids Count report, 3,000 fewer children are living in poverty.
Despite these realities, critics continue to suggest welfare reform is ineffective (“Leaving welfare but not poverty,” May 8 Eagle Editorial). The Kansas HOPE Act, enacted in 2015 and enhanced in 2016 with additional reforms, has helped low-income Kansans move from welfare dependency to self-reliance. We hear amazing stories of inspiration every day.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families is an agency of opportunity. We are here to help individuals in need. And we do this by supplying individuals with the tools they need to not just get jobs but develop their skills, attain higher education and make wages that enable them to care for their families without the need to rely on the limited financial support offered by welfare.
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Our solution is not as quick as handing someone cash, but our answer to poverty is much more effective. We are breaking the cycle of poverty through employment. It’s good for our clients and it’s good for Kansas taxpayers, who continue to overwhelmingly support welfare-to-work policies.
Phyllis Gilmore, Topeka
Secretary, Kansas Department for Children and Families
Use Tubman only
Like many others, I was overjoyed after hearing the news of Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill (April 21 Eagle). Not only because there finally will be a woman on U.S currency, but an African-American woman at that. But the decision to remove Andrew Jackson’s face from the front of the bill but keep him on the back is like saying, “Congratulations, almost.”
In 1804, Jackson owned nine African-American men, women and children. By his death in 1845, that number had jumped to about 150 slaves.
Tubman was born a slave and endured that gruesome life for many years. She eventually escaped and left her family behind. She risked her life by returning 19 times to free her family and other slaves via the Underground Railroad.
Tubman’s legacy is nothing but positive, unlike Jackson’s. Tubman fought extremely hard her entire life to stop exactly what Jackson supported.
Chardennae Carney, Haven
Truth or myth?
A door hanger I received from Americans for Prosperity said it presented facts rather than myths. It said that school funding per pupil in 2015 was $13,124 and increased to $13,200 in 2016. It said the Kansas budget was $5.9 billion in 2015 and nearly $6.1 billion in 2016. The door hanger stated that more Kansans are working now than at any other time in our 155-year history, and that 26,000 more businesses exist now than when the tax reforms were passed in 2012.
So, Wichita Eagle, what’s the truth? I always see dismay and disdain for our state government in the newspaper. If truth matters, is what’s stated here true?
Joe Holub, Haysville
Tag office improved
I have lived in Sedgwick County since 1956 and, over the years, made many trips to the tag office. Until recently, if I had to choose between a root canal and standing in line to purchase auto tags, I’d take the root canal every time.
I’m pleased to say that under the leadership of Sedgwick County Treasurer Linda Kizzire, the tag office has moved into the 21st century.
I recently accompanied my grandson to the North Maize Road office, where we checked in on the touch-screen TV and were provided an estimated wait time. Then we were assisted by a young lady who really knew what she was doing. Total wait and processing time was less than 30 minutes. Great job, Linda Kizzire.
Bobby Stout, Wichita
What if Nazi salute?
Imagine a postgraduation picture of 16 white male cadets in uniform from West Point, heads shaven, arms extended in a Nazi salute. I wonder how that would’ve been handled by the Army (“West Point launches inquiry into cadets’ fists-raised photo,” May 8 Eagle).
Michael Mackay, Mulvane
Proud of JR Custom
The Eagle recently had an article about JR Custom Metal Products staying in Wichita (“JR Custom Metal stays true to Wichita roots,” April 9 Business). I’m not surprised. I worked with this company when I was a senior buyer at Boeing, and there is not a finer family or company around.
I worked with them on many projects. At that time they were located in the plant on North Mosley. They were great to work with and always did quality work. I was able to go to Washington, D.C., when the company was honored at a Small Business Administration affair, with Raul Martinez Sr. seated at the head table. I’m proud to know the family and the company.
Kenneth Miller, Wichita
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