Would you trade one dollar for one dollar and seventy four cents?

Of course you would. And that’s what some smart California legislators are trying to do by expanding California’s food stamp program, CalFresh, even in the middle of a big state deficit.

These legislators have figured out that by investing scarce state dollars in expanding the food stamp program, they draw in more federal funds than they spend. The benefit of a healthier state without hunger is enough reason alone to expand the program – but the fact that we get these important benefits plus an incredible economic stimulus makes it a no-brainer.

Government gets knocked all the time for what sometimes seem like crushing inefficiencies. But there are so many bright spots out there that show what can happen when leaders “do the math” and figure out how to get a better return on investment. At its heart this is what Gov 2.0 is all about – using data to make better decisions.

So when the data shows that we get $1.74 in benefit for every $1 we invest – that’s a program worth funding.

Congratulations to the East Bay’s Nancy Skinner, San Jose’s Jim Beall and Filipe Fuentes from Los Angeles for helping to create a healthier state while promoting a stronger economy. Now that’s the Reset Spirit in action.

The story is well reported in the Bay Citizen – which once again is featuring great stories that are hard to find other places. If you want to apply for these benefits – the online application is here.