Policy Research Shop Testimony: April 25, 2017

PRS Students Testify before the Vermont House Committee on Human Services

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Class of 1964 Policy Research Shop students, Emily Schneider ’19 and Brian Thorpe ’19, traveled to Montpelier to testify before the Vermont House Committee on Human Services.  Emily, a biology major and public policy minor, and Brian, an economics major and public policy minor, spent the fall and winter terms researching and drafting their report, “Social Impact Bonds: A Comprehensive Review,” (PRS Policy Brief 1617-08) at the request of Committee Chair Ann Pugh. 

Representative Pugh was interested in the concept of social impact bonds and the applicability of such bonds to the work of the Human Services Committee.  The students provided a broad overview of the history and context of social impact bonds (SIBs), the basic structure and requirements for implementing SIBS, and the important policy actors involved in the creation and implementation of programs funded by SIBs.  After outlining the various SIBs program that have been implemented or are in progress, Schneider and Thorpe presented four case studies that highlighted various SIB models and outcomes: New York City ABLE Program for Incarcerated Youth (Rikers Island), 2012; South Carolina Nurse-Family Partnership, 2016; Cuyahoga County Partnering for Family Success, 2014; and Denver Supportive Housing Program, 2016.  They concluded their testimony by tracing the legislative histories of SIBs program enacted in other states.  Throughout their presentation, the students responded to questions from committee members.  Rep. Pugh concluded the hearing by thanking the students for their detailed analysis.