The 75-page report says the state should:
_ Connect working families to quality financial education.
_ Move them beyond living "paycheck to paycheck."
_ Help them create their own jobs and security.
_ Make sure they are treated fairly by financial institutions.
Also included is a "blueprint for action" that succinctly shows who needs to do what to achieve these goals. The holistic approach leaves no one person or organization holding the heavy bag of responsibility. The governor, school districts, legislators, community groups, colleges and universities, state departments, financial institutions, private-sector employers - all are called on the carpet.
Co-chaired by state Rep. Dwight Evans and state Secretary of Banking Bill Schenck and pulled together by a 60-member task force, the report recommendations can reduce if not eliminate the virulent problems that infect working families.
But it will take a shared responsibility. We find the first two recommendations especially significant. For example: getting the public schools to teach kids and teens money management may stop the perpetuation of poor economic choices. And as for living "paycheck to paycheck," getting more chain supermarkets to move into poor communities can provide lower prices and healthier food selections. We will examine that aspect of the report in more detail during the year.
So far the governor hasn't acted on these recommendations, which he received last December. We urge him to act. Working families need the help. *