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Western Center submits comments opposing changes to the Official Poverty Measure

Western Center submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget regarding its proposal to change the federal government’s Official Poverty Measure. Western Center opposes the proposed changes, because they would significantly undermine the reality of poverty throughout the U.S., and would improperly bar individuals in need from accessing public benefits and services. People of color, women, and members of the LGBTQIA+ communities would be disproportionately impacted by such a change.

Our full comments can be read here, and an excerpt is available below:

“Replacing the current methodology for calculating the annual poverty threshold would irreparably harm the country’s most vulnerable populations by grossly understating rate of inflation among low-income households.
The proposed rule would inflict irreparable harm because it would (1) deprive impoverished households of the public benefits necessary to mitigate their material hardships, and (2) have a disparate impact on persons on color in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”