Welfare Reform Given Final Approval by Missouri Senate

Legislation to reform the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program received final approval by the Missouri Senate this week. The MCC supported SB 24 after senators adopted a number of key amendments, including a requirement that applicants be given a face-to-face orientation on the program. TANF provides assistance to parents or caretakers of children who are very poor. A family of three only qualifies if their income is no more than $293 a month.

Senator David Sater (R-Cassville), sponsor of SB 24, is concerned that too few recipients participate in the work activities available under TANF, which may include subsidized or unsubsidized employment, job training, or community service. The MCC recognizes that participation in work activities can be a life-changer for recipients, serving as a springboard to a better life. However, SB 24, as originally filed, imposed sanctions on non-compliant recipients without any attempt to meet personally with them. The amended legislation ensures personal interaction and planning takes place that can help a recipient move out of poverty.

The legislation will now move to the Missouri House for consideration.

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