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UPDATE: Governor Kelly officially rescinds welfare policy Thursday Featured

By Chuck Samples and Tagan Trahoon July 11, 2019 444
UPDATE: Governor Kelly officially rescinds welfare policy Thursday State of Kansas great seal

Governor Laura Kelly has officially withdrawn a controversial policy amid pressure from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Thursday.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal Kelly says "“While my team believes the policy we put in place is legally defensible, we have determined that it isn’t worth the cost to Kansas taxpayers to engage in a protracted court battle.” Schmidt had given Governor Kelly until Friday to drop the plan which would allow people to receive at least three months of public assistance -- even if they have not followed federal work requirements.

Federal law says able-bodied adults without children have to work at least 20 hours a week or they can't receive food assistance for up to three months every three years -- although the government provides exemptions for states to waive work requirements in some cases. In May, the Department of Children and Families said it plans to use nearly 60,000 exemptions accumulated by the state.

Schmidt had sent a letter to Governor Kelly Monday claiming she needed to rescind the proposed policy or "prepare for a legal showdown." Schmidt says the governor and DCF can push for changes in state law -- but until those changes are made, the state has to adhere to what's currently on the books.

9:30 am Thursday: Governor, Attorney General at odds over certain welfare payments. 

A showdown is looming between Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt on state welfare law.

Schmidt has given the governor until Friday to drop a plan to let people receive at least three months of public assistance -- even if they have not followed federal work requirements.

Federal law says able-bodied adults without children have to work at least 20 hours a week or they can't receive food assistance for up to three months every three years -- although the government provides exemptions for states to waive work requirements in some cases. In May, the Department of Children and Families said it plans to use nearly 60,000 exemptions accumulated by the state.

Kelly has been critical of state regulations that shortened both the temporary assistance window from three years to two and the so-called lifetime limit from four years to three that were passed under former governor Sam Brownback three years ago.

Schmidt, meanwhile, says the governor and DCF can push for changes in state law -- but until those changes are made, the state has to adhere to what's currently on the books.

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Last modified on Thursday, 11 July 2019 13:28