The effort to give a “hand up, not a hand out” to Utah families stuck in poverty for several consecutive generations took another step forward today as SB 37 passed unanimously out of the House Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee.
Sponsored by Senator Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, SB 37 requires the Department of Workforce Services to create and maintain a tracking system regarding data related to intergenerational poverty. This data would then be used to identify trends, which would help “case workers, social scientists, and government officials to study and develop plans and programs to assist individuals and families to break the cycle of poverty,” according to the bill language.
“The kind of data Workforce Services will gather as a result of this bill will be a powerful tool to diagnose and treat the factors that are holding Utahns in poverty,” said Derek Monson, director of public policy for Sutherland Institute. “Hopefully, effective measures can then be taken to help individuals and families get out of poverty and participate fully in our communities. This will strengthen them and all of Utah.”
The bill now moves to the House floor to be considered by the full body.