Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Override of Gov. Nixon’s Veto of Welfare Reform

Published May 5, 2015

Today, the Missouri House of Representatives completed the override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a landmark welfare reform bill. The Senate voted to override the vetoMonday night by a vote of 25‒9 and the House voted this afternoon to override the veto 113‒24.

The Heartland Institute earlier this year released its 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card, which ranked Missouri last out of 50 states, giving it an “F” grade for failing to transition welfare recipients into the workforce, as well as other hallmarks of a successful program.

Read the executive summary and full report titled 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card: A State-by-State Analysis of Anti-Poverty Performance and Welfare Reform Policies.

The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“It is great to see Missouri legislators understand that work is at the heart of a happy life and that encouraging work is something you do for someone, not to someone. Most of us are best motivated with both a carrot and a stick, and Missouri’s new law will bring the state in line with the lessons learned by successful states in recent years.”

Gary MacDougal
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Gary MacDougal is the lead author of The Heartland Institute’s 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card.

“In recent months, members of the Missouri General Assembly have relentlessly been working to implement policies that will move more Missourians from dependency to self-sufficiency, and today they succeeded. Defenders of the status quo have tried to take the focus off measures that would actually help move people off welfare and into work. However, many legislators understand the need to change welfare policies from policies that trap citizens in long-term poverty to policies that reduce welfare dependency and reward work by strengthening work requirements and removing barriers to self-sufficiency.

“It is encouraging to see the Missouri legislature stress the primacy for work and independence, so that people can be lifted out of poverty, not remain there for generations to come.”

Logan Elizabeth Pike
Government Relations Manager
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

Logan Elizabeth Pike is a co-author of The Heartland Institute’s 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card.

“The Missouri legislature’s override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) veto is a victory for the people of Missouri. By encouraging people to take charge of their lives, welfare work requirements empower people and reward hard work and self-improvement. Currently, Missouri allows individuals to collect food-stamp benefits without working, or even trying to find work. Reforming this sordid system will put people on the surest path out of poverty: work and increased independence.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.