Alleviating food insecurity is often seen as one of the fundamental roles a country should fulfil. In some cases, this is encapsulated into a constitutionally formalized “right to food.” In other cases, including the U.S., the right to food isn’t formalized, but the U.S. government spends billions of dollars per year to help Americans obtain the food they need. Craig Gundersen, distinguished professor of agricultural and consumer economics in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois says that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is effective in addressing the right to food in the U.S., and that the program can serve as an example for countries that struggle to provide food for all citizens. Gundersen points out that SNAP for over fifty years has served as a means to ensure individuals’ right to food. He cautions against making any dramatic changes to the program, because it has a proven record of working well. If anything, it could be expanded in terms of benefit levels and to reach more of those who still fall through the cracks. “SNAP works well in the U.S., and it could be used as a model for how to create a food assistance program for low- and middle-income nations that want to ensure all their citizens have a right to food,” he says.
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Illinois’ highway system ranks 28th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. There is no change from the previous report, where Illinois ranked 28th overall. In safety and performance categories, Illinois ranks 16th in overall fatality rate, 26th in structurally deficient bridges, 45th in traffic congestion, 4th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 8th in rural Interstate pavement condition. On spending, Illinois ranks 42nd in total spending per mile and 46th in capital and bridge costs per mile. “To improve in the rankings, Illinois needs to reduce its total disbursements and capital and bridge disbursements per mile as well as its urbanized area congestion. Illinois is in the bottom 10 for overall disbursements and capital and bridge disbursements per mile as well as the bottom five for traffic congestion. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Illinois’ overall highway performance is better than Indiana (ranks 33rd) and Wisconsin (ranks 38th), but worse than Missouri (ranks 3rd),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Illinois is doing better than a comparable state such as Michigan (ranks 30th), but worse than a comparable state like Ohio (ranks 18th).”
On September 26 at Noon CST, the University of Illinois Extension Local Government Education webinar will feature Steven Groner, Community and Economic Development Educator, who will share insights and suggestions gained from advising small businesses in Handing Off Your Business: The Future of Your Business Without You. He will address succession planning in response to what has been termed “the silver tsunami” or the rapidly growing number of businesses with leaders approaching retirement. Steven focuses on good planning practices, the need to get succession strategies underway, and ways to alleviate some of the complexity and stress of planning and transition.