Proposed Legislation Would Make Work Pay

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March 26, 2001

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Two popular myths endure about Texas' poor. One is that most poor people don't work and don't want to work. The second is that work will raise these families out of poverty. Research conducted by the Center for Public Policy Priorities shows that these myths do not correspond with reality. Of the 3 million poor Texans, about 2 million have at least one working adult in their household. Moreover, the problem of poverty despite work is greater in Texas than in most other states. Bills to raise the state minimum wage or to require government contractors to pay a living wage offer one set of solutions to this problem.