OK Lawmaker Proposes PSA To Show Financial Benefits Of Marriage

Monday, March 11th 2013, 6:13 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

If you are married, you probably won't have to live in poverty. That's the message of a Public Service Announcement the Speaker of the House wants to make.

His proposal would take TANF or Temporarily Assistance of Needy Family to make the PSA. Legislative action is necessary because the money is being designated for a specific purpose.

The speaker's ad would target those like Melissa Barlow, a single mom of two kids living at the City Rescue Mission.

"When I first came here I was a wreck," said Melissa. "Broken family, my choices what I was doing in my life wasn't as positive as I needed them to be no matter how hard I tried."

The Public service campaign would spread the message that getting married and staying married can keep you out of poverty.

Pastor Tom Jones who runs the city Rescue Mission, says that makes sense.

"Probably about 98 percent of people who come into the homeless shelter are single individuals," said Jones.

However he questions using money set aside to help the needy for the campaign.

"What doesn't make sense is taking money from a pool of resources that is trying to provide the basic necessities for a population of our community that is impoverished and just barely getting by anyway," said Jones.

"We want to redirect people off government subsidies, we want to get people out of poverty," said Joe Griffin, the Director of Communications for Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon. "Every dollar that's spent on a child who is no longer in poverty and on the road to prosperity that's money well spent."

But Jones points to Melissa who at the mission is getting an education and help making the changes to get out of her situation permanently all by herself.

The measure passed through the house last week and will be voted on in the Senate.