Utah earned only three of 10 possible points on an adequacy test designed by an advocacy agency to measure the effectiveness of poverty programs. Such programs vary widely throughout the country.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which takes a liberal perspective of government spending and its impact on the poor, there are significant shortcomings in poverty programs across the nation - even in states with sound economies and higher-than-average per capita income.The center studied programs that provide cash, medical and other assistance to the poor and found that none of the states met all 10 standards in a "reasonable adequacy test" developed by the center.
According to the center, 29 states - including Utah - met three or fewer of the criteria, 14 states met more than half and Massachusetts and Minnesota did best by meeting nine of 10.
The study found, among other things:
-In 32 states, maximum Aid to Families with Dependent Children is below half of the poverty line for a family of three with no other income.
-In 26 states, fewer than one-third of jobless workers received unemployment insurance during 1986.
Some of the states also tax poor families on the benefits they do receive.
Here is a breakdown of which states met how many standards in the 10-point adequacy test:
-Zero: Indiana and Texas.
-One: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota.
-Two: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.
-Three: Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
-Four: Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kansas, Nebraska and North Carolina.
-Five: Iowa and Maryland.
-Six: Maine, Oregon and Washington.
-Seven: Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin.
-Eight: California, Michigan, New York and Rhode Island.
-Nine: Massachusetts and Minnesota.