Published by Mona Allie
March 17, 2011
Republicans in Minnesota are pushing a bill which would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets on any given month.
Previously, their proposal was to ban them for having any money at all. It’s baffling as to how they can get public assistance and have no money — also problematic is the mentality of those trying to pass this bill. So much for those ‘common sense values’.
Take a deep breath, then read this:
On March 15, Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee testified in front of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on House File 171. Buechner told committee members, “We would like to address the provision that makes it illegal for MFIP [one of Minnesota’s welfare programs] families to withdraw cash from the cash portion of the MFIP grant – and in fact, appears to make it illegal for MFIP families to have any type of money at all in their pockets. How do you expect people to take care of business like paying bills such as lights, gas, water, trash and phone?”
House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP – and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid – could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.