Deb Konechne of Welfare Rights Committee, says that most of the punitive and draconian provisions of the original Welfare Bill in the Minnesota Legislature, HF 280, were removed or modified in the final bill. Defeated were attempts to limit the use of Electronic Benefit Transaction (EBT) cards to just Minnesota. Instead their use will also be allowed in Minnesota’s five bordering states. Republicans had also wanted a three year limit on benefits that was also defeated.
The Welfare Rights Committee had maintained a persistent presence, pointed testimony and continual pressure on state legislators to change the bill, even resorting to a, “Mic Check” at one of the hearings.
They had also strongly reacted to Rep Mary Franson’s comparison of welfare recipients to animals. Konechne credit the hard work of the committee in bringing about this change.