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Advocates Say State’s New Welfare Law Could Jeopardize Federal Grant


Kansas child care advocates say the state’s new welfare law could jeopardize a $42 million federal grant. State officials disagree.

The welfare law at issue was passed by conservative Republicans to tighten eligibility requirements and move low-income Kansans off welfare and into jobs.

Credit Dave Ranney, Heartland Health Monitor
Shannon Cotsoradis

Some of the changes in the law could make it harder for some welfare recipients to maintain their eligibility without interruption, says Shannon Cotsoradis, CEO of the nonprofit advocacy group Kansas Action for Children.

And that, she says, appears to put the law in conflict with new federal rules governing the Child Care Development Block Grant. The state uses the $42 million grant to help fund $78 million in child care programs.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Families says there isn’t a conflict.

But in a briefing for reporters, Cotsoradis stuck with her contention.

“I feel pretty comfortable in saying that there will have to be some changes (in the welfare law) as a result of reauthorization," Cotsoradis says.

Cotsoradis’ group is holding meeting on the new rules on Monday. A couple of national experts on the grant are expected to attend. State officials were invited but declined to participate, saying they were planning their own stakeholder meeting in early September.