Every state in the nation is recognized for something notable and unique. Sometimes that recognition is for something positive like tourism or thriving business and industry. And sometimes, the recognition is for a trait that is troubling, like high crime or widespread poverty. Connecticut has fallen into the latter category.
Last week, Gov. Dannel Malloy heralded in a press release the news that the state has received a $1.6 million performance bonus for leading the way in signups for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program also known as SNAP, or what many still refer to as food stamps.
The bonus was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
According to the statement from the governor’s office, “federal officials recognized Connecticut as a state with the highest program access index for 2016, signifying the number of SNAP participants enrolled from the estimated eligible population.
While we are glad that more people who really need help in feeding their families are finding easier access to SNAP benefits, we must point out that this news also highlights the dire economic circumstances the state is facing.
Many families in Connecticut live pay check to pay check. Single-parent families are the most susceptible to food insecurity, even when the head of the household is working two jobs. Even many single professionals find it difficult to make ends meet when they see their salaries being eaten up by high taxes.
It’s time for government officials to start moving our state forward by slashing taxes, drawing high-paying industry here and cutting the cost of higher education for all who want a brighter future.
Connecticut needs leaders who are going to step up, not those who are quick with a handout.