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Kansas Senate Debates Welfare Changes

The Kansas Senate has advanced legislation that puts stricter limits on cash assistance programs, like TANF (TAN-eff) - or, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  

The bill would write into law many policies put into place by Governor Sam Brownback's administration. It would also tighten the lifetime limit on TANF benefits from 48 months to 36 months.

Republican Senator Michael O’Donnell says the shorter time limit and work requirements in the bill will help people get off welfare and find a job.

“That’s our goal. 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.
In the past, program requirements have been policy decisions but not written into law. Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley says lawmakers shouldn’t be writing policies on the Senate floor because most of them don’t have expertise in the area of social services.

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