MN Welfare Bill Improved After Citizen Pressure

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Click on this picture to see Deb Konechne's response about Statw Welfare Bill.

Click on this picture to see Deb Konechne's assessment of the MN Welfare Bill battle.

A citizen group fighting the criminalization of being poor is claiming partial victory in its battle against Minnesota Republicans over the state’s welfare bill.

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.

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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