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Implementing Welfare Reform in Kansas: Moving, but Not Racing

Jocelyn M. Johnston and Kara Lindaman
Publius
Vol. 28, No. 3, Welfare Reform in the United States: A Race to the Bottom? (Summer, 1998), pp. 123-142
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330985
Page Count: 20
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Implementing Welfare Reform in Kansas: Moving, but Not Racing
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Abstract

Will welfare reform lead some states to race to the bottom? At least for Kansas, the answer appears to be a resounding no. Data gathered as part of the State Capacity Study's analysis of welfare reform suggest that in Kansas, elected officials and the bureaucracy have responded in a fashion consistent with the state's political and administrative culture: cautiously and incrementally. First, Kansas' welfare-reform policy has been driven primarily by bureaucratic decisions. Welfare administrators, supported by the governor, have minimized legislative resistance to their policy objectives. Second, from the perspective of welfare generosity, Kansas has not deviated significantly from its typical "middle" position relative to other states' policies. Third, Kansas' administration of reform embraces three primary strategies: decentralized management authority; new links with other agencies to tackle specific welfare problems; and a newly integrated approach to frontline welfare case-management.

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