When asked what they would like to tell state politicians about their experience with the LBP, respondents most often commented on the importance of FIP benefits to their families, highlighting how benefits are helpful and how difficult it is to make personal changes without these benefits (TableVI.11). One respondent noted, "When I got FIP, I paid my rent right away. I always paid that bill first. Now, I never know how I am going to pay it." Another stated:
I was doing everything right. I was working full-time and going to school 15 hours a week. Things were getting better, but I still needed the [FIP] check to get by. It doesn't make sense to me that people like me are punished for trying to improve and other people who don't do anything still keep their check.
After the importance of FIP benefits, respondents most frequently wanted to tell politicians that LBP needed to be a more transitional program--that the current program was too harsh. Twenty-seven percent of respondents expressed this concern.
There was also evidence that respondents wanted better information about the LBP and the requirements. Approximately 12 percent of respondents wanted to tell politicians that the FIA and LBP needed to be explained more thoroughly. One respondent remarked, "I didn't know that I could change my FIA after I signed it. If I had known that, I would have done it. I thought that once I had one, that was it." In addition, 13 percent wanted to convey that they found contradictions in the welfare program's goals and rules. One parent said, "I was told to go to school, but there was not any assistance for child care or transportation."
On a positive note, approximately 16 percent of respondents wanted to tell politicians that the LBP was a good program, saying that it pushed them to be more independent. These individuals noted that they were employed and had not faced hardships as a result of the loss of cash benefits. They reported that the LBP was "working out just the way they had planned it."