Policy Research Shop Year Begins with Several Testimonies

Thus far in the 2010-2011 academic year, four groups of Rockefeller Center Policy Research Shop students have testified before state policymakers in Vermont and New Hampshire.  On September 9, 2010, Travis Blalock '12 of the Policy Research Shop (PRS) gave testimony before the Vermont Child Poverty Council at the State House in Montpelier, VT. The Council, chaired by Rep. Ann Pugh and Sen. Douglas Racine, is a working group composed of legislators, nonprofit leaders, and representatives from executive agencies who deal with child poverty issues in Vermont. Travis's presentation was part of the report by the Families in Deep Poverty Working Group of the Council, headed by Legislative Counsel Robin Lunge.
Travis's presentation outlined the characteristics of the deep poverty population in Vermont compared to the nation as a whole, and highlighted some of the challenges posed by its different characteristics. He then offered recommendations for reaching the deep poverty population, including addressing compounding issues and improving public transportation in rural areas. The presentation was based on the PRS Report

"Poverty in Vermont: Reduction and Profiles: A Profile of Vermont Residents in Deep Poverty Prepared for the Vermont Child Poverty Council" (PDF)

written by Travis Blalock ’12 and David Lumbert II '12.

On January 13, 2011 three additional Dartmouth undergraduates from the Policy Research Shop provided formal testimony to members of the Vermont Child Poverty Council at the State Capitol Building in Montpelier, Vermont. Eric Yang '14, Austin Major '14, and Jae Hyuk Chang '11 presented the findings of their research, which evaluated the accessibility of data necessary to track a series of benchmarks created by the Council. The resulting policy report,

Tracking Child Poverty in Vermont: An Evaluation of the Vermont Child Poverty Council Benchmarks" (PDF)

includes a guide for finding available data on each of the Council's benchmarks, as well as suggestions for improving data collection in the future.



Students William M. Danaher '13, Katherine M. Schade '13 and Galen M. Pospisil '13 testify regarding their research on business tax practices before the New Hampshire Commission for the Study of Business Taxes.




On February 18, 2011, three students from the Rockefeller Center's Policy Research Shop testified before the New Hampshire Commission for the Study of Business Taxes. The Commission is comprised of seven NH State Legislators and private citizens who have expertise in finance, accounting, and/or business. The PRS students, William Danaher '13, Katherine Schade '13, and Galen Pospisil ‘13 presented their findings about New Hampshire's business tax climate and the connections between different tax structures and business growth.  

And finally, on March 29, 2011, two PRS students will testify before the New Hampshire Mental Health Caucus in Concord.  Caroline Buck ’13 and David Lumbert II ’12 presented the findings of the group project that analyzed the impact of state cuts in mental health service provision over the past decade.  The report, “Assessing the Consequences of a Decade of Funding Cuts to New Hampshire State Mental Health Service,” was also authored by Richard D'Amato ’13 and Roanna Wang '13 who are unable to present with Caroline and David.  The report will be available online during the spring term.

Several additional PRS groups are scheduled to present their policy briefs during the spring term.  Watch for updates on the Rockefeller Center web site and here on our blog.

The Policy Research Shop is supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program.