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Brownback to Sign Bill Tightening Welfare Rules in Kansas

Governor Brownback signing a bill earlier this month. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Governor Sam Brownback will sign into law a controversial welfare bill Thursday. It would cut the lifetime limit on cash assistance from 48 months to 36 months. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, it also says welfare recipients can’t spend the money at places like movie theaters and swimming pools.

Opponents say the bill stigmatizes low-income Kansans and might limit access to needed benefits. It’s also attracted some national attention. Here’s Jon Stewart on the Daily Show.

“Sam Brownback trusts the good people of Kansas. But what about the people of Kansas who aren’t good, you know, the poor ones?” says Stewart.

The governor’s administration fired back at that, saying the bill protects Kansas taxpayers and encourages personal responsibility.

During a state Senate debate, Republican Michael O’Donnell said the legislation is aimed at ending dependence on government assistance and focusing more on work.

“I think everyone in this room has the same feeling and same dedication to making sure that Kansans have high quality of life, and you don’t have high quality of life if you don’t have a job,” says O’Donnell.

Brownback will sign the bill during an event in Topeka.

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