New York state put hundreds of dollars in federal stimulus money into food stamp accounts, causing a literal run on the bank last month. Families of about 800,000 low-income children qualified for the one-time payments — $200 per child for back-to-school supplies and clothes. Critics said the state bungled it by attaching no strings to how the money could be spent. But equally problematic, 23 states haven’t applied for these stimulus dollars yet, many because they can’t afford to appropriate the 20 percent matching funds that are required.
(Opinion) Some $165 million in federal stimulus money could be used to reduce child poverty in Georgia, and state officials should seize the opportunity to put those dollars to work. So says Clare Richie, senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute. The money can be used for direct cash assistance and subsidized employment, but Richie notes innovative programs from other states that Georgia could also take on: car ownership, matched savings accounts, career planning and more.