As I See It: Gov. Baker must renew commitment to work-focused welfare programs

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The Massachusetts Legislature wants to increase cash assistance payments to those who have additional children while on welfare. But that debate misses a much better opportunity to help those in poverty.

There is a glaring employment gap for able-bodied adults without children on food stamps in 48 cities and towns in the commonwealth. With the strong economy under Governor Baker, it’s time to move forward with welfare reform — and to do that, we need to look at our past.

Years before President Bill Clinton and Congress passed bipartisan welfare reform, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had already been paving the way toward better opportunities and outcomes for those receiving public assistance.