Cutler and Dunbar Announce Partnership to Produce Cost-Benefit Analyses
6/3/2015
HARRISBURG – To make more informed budget and policy decisions that will result in financial benefits for citizens of the Commonwealth, Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Rep. George Dunbar (R-Westmoreland) drafted legislation to partner with the Pew-MacArthur Results First initiative.

Cutler and Dunbar are both members of the House Majority Policy Committee. The committee’s initiative, Empowering Opportunities: Gateways Out of Poverty, was launched in 2013 to identify the barriers low-income Pennsylvanians face when attempting to reach self-sufficiency and look for ways government can return the American Dream back to the folks who need it most.

During the course of the last two years, and with the help of more than 100 community leaders, non-profits, and faith-based organizations, legislators from the House Republican Caucus forged policy ideas and legislative proposals aimed to assist individuals break their cycle of poverty. The committee traveled across the state talking with nonprofit and community groups, along with local officials, to develop ways to transition people from poverty into lives of self-sustainability.

As co-chairs of the Outcomes that Matter task force, Cutler and Dunbar explore specific aspects of ongoing efforts to combat poverty on a greater scale.

“The task force’s mission includes the development of a long-term vision, which is needed to evaluate Pennsylvania’s current anti-poverty programs and move toward those that create greater opportunities for citizens to realize the American Dream, rather than to become increasingly dependent on the government,” Cutler said.

After 18 months of research, Cutler, Dunbar and other members of the task force determined that it would be beneficial for the Commonwealth to implement a cost-benefit analysis approach to ensure taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being invested in policies and programs that are proven to work.

“Far too often, government gauges the success of a particular program by the number of people enrolled, while completely failing to determine whether the program is effectively helping to lift these individuals out of poverty,” Dunbar said.

To help as many people as possible by investing money in programs that are the most effective, the Commonwealth has developed a partnership with the Pew-MacArthur Results First initiative. This is a collective data gathering and analyzing system that works with government entities to provide cost-benefit analyses for specific topic areas within government.

The results of the calculations would then be published in an easy-to-read online portal for public consumption, allowing policymakers and the general public the ability to see the original intent and history of the program. This tool is an aid when reviewing which programs work and which do not.

“By engaging in this partnership, we will not only be able to spend smarter and stretch our money to help more Commonwealth citizens,” Cutler said. “But we will also be opening more of our financial books to the public than ever before. It is important to strengthen the connection residents feel with their government by making government more transparent.”

House Bill 1205 will be formally introduced today.

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Representative George Dunbar
56th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans
717.260.6206
aevans@pahousegop.com
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