Dealing with large poor populations can be difficult in tough budgetary times, says Arloc Sherman, a senior researcher at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "States have really struggled to have any impact [on assisting their poorest residents] right now because they are all so beleaguered budget-wise." Though Sherman says there are "very few bright spots" in state policies, he notes examples of states stepping in to provide assistance to their poorer residents. One example is Connecticut, which earlier this year passed an earned income tax credit to benefit as many as 190,000 low-income workers. Chung adds that such tax credits, as well as food stamps, are two government programs that can provide real help to states' most vulnerable populations.