2016 Bills

SB 153: Encouraging Self Reliance As A Gateway Out Of Poverty

This bill passed the Senate 20-5 and passed the House 45-28.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

People in poverty need more than a handout—they need a hand up. Moreover, the best way to fight poverty is as a community of neighbors voluntarily helping those in need with more than mere social welfare payments. Those caught in the cycle of poverty need the resources to which we collectively refer as “social capital.” This includes personal skills and community connections that people use to deal with the challenges that come their way. Self-reliance is the only true way to break out of dependence.

Recognizing these principles, Senator Lincoln Fillmore has sponsored Senate Bill 153 to incorporate self-reliance training in state social welfare programs. The bill would require applicants for social welfare benefits to receive training and education in self-reliance during the first three months of receiving benefits. Importantly, the training could be offered by various community groups, thereby helping link those in poverty to community resources in their area that can help them in more significant and personal ways than a mere benefit payment.

Government should not always look to the public treasury or the statute book for solutions to social problems. This bill is a step in that direction.