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Senate OKs 4-year limit on welfare benefits

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


The Michigan Senate has approved a four-year limit on cash assistance welfare benefits. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the time limit was called for by Governor Rick Snyder and the Legislature's GOP leaders.

The 48-month cap is part of Republican plans to balance the state budget. Come October 1st, 12,600 families will likely lose benefits averaging a little more than $500 a month.

The vote on time limits broke along party lines. This is Democratic state Senator Morris Hood.

"What's going to happen to those folks? Where are those 12,000 people going to go the next day?," he asks.

Republican state Senator Mark Jansen says the four-year time limit will encourage people to move more quickly to find work to avoid exhausting their benefits.

"We can't do everything for everybody," he says. "We understand that we don't have the money to do that anymore."

Michigan's welfare time limits would be among the strictest in the Midwest. Indiana limits benefits for adults to two years - with no limit on benefits for children.

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