Charlie Baker on Welfare & Poverty
Baker was a leading architect of the Weld welfare reform initiative, a top political issue of the day. The reform included a work requirement (or an education requirement for teens), a two-year limit on benefits, a freeze on benefit increases, and the elimination of clothing allowances. The Cellucci administration would later claim the changes helped to reduce the number of welfare recipients from 100,000 in 1995 to fewer than 50,000 in 1999. Touting this welfare success in 2010, Baker asserted that "there was a lot of research out at that point that showed that if you didn't get real about creating some kind of nudge to get the people who just stayed on welfare to do something, they would sort of spin into really dark and difficult place and never actually get up and try."
BAKER: "I committed to an increase in the minimum wage and I meant it. But I really do believe that part of this package ultimately ought to include an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a far better way to support low income families, people working 40 hours a week in low wage jobs who have children. There are a ton of people who are going to benefit from this minimum wage increase, who don't necessarily fall into that category."
BRAUDE: But would you sign it as is, if it was on your desk?
BAKER: "Well, it wouldn't come to my desk without the things I want, because I would work so hard with the legislature to get from here to there."
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