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Governor Brownback Signs Bill Tightening Welfare Rules In Kansas

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo
Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to reporters during the bill signing ceremony Monday.

Kansas will have tighter welfare rules for cash assistance after Governor Sam Brownback signed some new restrictions into law. The changes will reduce the total amount of time Kansans can take part in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The limit for Kansas families receiving benefits will go down from 36 months to 24 months. The state can grant another year of benefits under certain hardships. Brownback says the goal is getting people off assistance programs and instead into the workforce.

“Part of our encouraging people to get back in the workforce is that’s the best solution for people to be able to get out of poverty,” Brownback says.

Shannon Cotsoradis, with the group Kansas Action for Children, opposes the new, shorter time limit. She says families losing benefits can force them to do without the basics.

“We’re talking about families that will then be homeless, about kids that won’t get enough to eat. Again, the most basic needs,” Cotsoradis says.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families says it estimates more than 400 households will hit the limit on benefits in the next year.