February 12, 2006

Rhode Island Welfare Statistics

Carroll Andrew Morse

An evening version of a Scott Mayerowitz story on Governor Donald Carcieri’s proposed 2007 budget from last week's Projo contained this interesting passage…

Carcieri plans to start counting time spent on welfare in other states against a lifetime limit here. There is no national database of who has been on welfare in what state. Rhode Island officials plan on asking welfare applicants for more information about where they have been and what public assistance they received. They also hope to verify some of this information with other states. The bulk of Rhode Island’s welfare recipients come from Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, New York, Florida, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
Three questions…
1. Exactly how much, in terms of number of people and amount spent, constitutes “the bulk”? (And exactly how many of them are from Florida? And are the people from Florida moving up here for the weather?)
2. How long do you have to have lived in Rhode Island before you are no longer considered as being from another state?
3. In how many other states, is it common for “the bulk” of welfare recipients to come from a state other than the state where they are receiving their benefits?


The fabulously named AuH20Republican suggests that the article might mean that…

The majority of welfare recipients who moved to RI from other states came from those 6 states.
To eliminate any ambiguity, I contacted Scott Mayerowitz, who indicated that the AuH20Republican interpretation was the proper one.

I'll see if I can nail down some specific numbers in the near future.

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I would wager that what they meant was that the majority of *welfare recipients who moved to RI from other states* came from those 6 states.

Posted by: AuH2ORepublican at February 13, 2006 9:33 AM

Two-three years ago an acquaintance who lives in NYC (he and his wife have a vacation home on Aquidneck Island) told me that he sees tons of RI license plates in the "Dominican section" of NYC. He posited that they establish "legal" residency in RI to get on welfare here, but actually live (and work?) in NYC.

Admittedly this is anectdotal, but certainly seems plausible.

Posted by: Tom W at February 13, 2006 10:41 PM