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Missouri Legislature Passes Welfare Restrictions, Overriding Gov - KOAM TV 7

Missouri Legislature Passes Welfare Restrictions, Overriding Governor's Veto

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI - The Missouri legislature passes a law to cut the amount of time families can spend on welfare from 5 years to 3 years and 9 months under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash assistance program. 

Tammy Walker of the Economic Security Corporation in Joplin, a non-profit that helps families rise out of poverty, says it's a major loss.

“Saddened. I mean that's a lot of families that are already struggling that aren't going to get any assistance."

According to the department of social services a parent of two can receive up to $292 a month. Walker believes the new restrictions would have a domino effect.

“We believe in personal responsibility but people need time to transition off of benefits and time to become employed and get back on their feet so I just feel like this is you know, just cutting people off and really hurting children too. Because when they cut off the benefits they're not just cutting the benefits off to the adults in the household, they're cutting the whole family."

The same reason democratic governor Jay Nixon vetoed the measure when it first passed his desk.

“I think it's a good thing that he did veto it because there are so many people lost and confused and in need of medical help, help with food, housing, a lot of people sleep outside here in Joplin,” says Joplin Resident Geoff Summer.

But republicans in both houses overrode the governor's veto in an effort to curb spending.

Joplin resident Bob Stringer says “It is a way to solve the budget crisis some people on welfare have a sense of entitlement and there is a day of reckoning. So this may help them to prepare for that day a little bit sooner and help themselves as well as help the financial situation."

Genet Seidling also of Joplin says "I think it would help a lot. It would take care of a lot of people that aren't really doing anything and it would help the other people that truly do deserve it."

The lifetime limits will be lowered beginning in January.

According to the Department of Social Services about 3,000 families will lose out on financial assistance.
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