Missouri Legislature Overrides Veto To Slash Welfare Benefits
May 8, 2015

There should be a special place in hell for these people who don't believe that we've given those who are living in poverty and living on the edge every day wondering if they're going to be able to feed their children quite enough of a kick in the teeth.

Missouri's Republican Legislature has apparently decided that they were previously being way too generous with their lousy $227 a month or so being given to Missourians receiving TANF benefits for five years, most of whom are children and that lifetime time limit needs to be cut by 15 months.

I've just got one question for all of them after reading this, and that's "Who would Jesus starve?" Just wondering since I'm sure most of these people who voted for this also pretend to follow the teachings of Christ.

Here's more from the St.Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri Legislature enacts limit on welfare benefits over Nixon's veto:

Republicans used their supermajorities in the Missouri Legislature on Tuesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto and enact a bill that the GOP says will reform welfare.

The new law will ratchet down the length of time that a family can draw welfare benefits and ramp up the requirements for low-income parents to get job training, do volunteer work or complete high school and vocational education.

“I think it will be surprising to see the success rate with this bill, and the smiles on the faces of those folks that move out of the poverty trap and move into charting their own destiny,” said the bill’s House handler, Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton.

Democrats called the bill an attack on the poor, particularly children. An estimated 6,310 children live in households that are expected to lose benefits when the new limit takes effect in January.

Children are “being punished through no fault of their own,” said Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis. Noting that the Legislature has embraced tax breaks for dairy farmers and other businesses, she said: “We’ve been giving subsidies to those that don’t really need it, but then we’re hurting those that need it most.”

At issue is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF. It provides federally funded cash benefits to low-income parents with children younger than 18.

As of March, there were about 73,323 Missourians receiving TANF benefits. About 60 percent of them are children. An eligible household, on average, receives $227 a month.

Under the bill, families will be limited to three years and nine months on TANF starting Jan 1. That will lop off 15 months from the current lifetime limit of five years.

In vetoing the bill last week, Nixon, a Democrat, said it penalized children for their parents’ behavior. He called the bill “mean-spirited and just plain wrong.” [...]

Republicans argued that the TANF program encourages dependence instead of personal responsibility. They noted that Missouri’s welfare policies ranked last nationally in a report by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit group that advocates free-market policies.

So in other words, this is another Koch brothers, ALEC funded initiative looking to make poor people's lives more miserable while advocating for tax breaks for their billionaire buddies. That's exactly what you should assume as soon as you see the name Heartland Institute mentioned.

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