Class Warfare Could Kill Poor People

By: Michael McIntee, UpTake Reporter

“Mean spirited” and “humiliating” to poor people is how Ebony Harris describes a Minnesota proposed law requiring 60-days residency to qualify for welfare benefits.

She says people are not moving from Chicago for welfare benefits. “I don’t see anyone moving here (for money). I met women in shelters that were getting away from abusive situations. That’s why they had to come here. But by making them wait 30 to 60 days, that could be somebody’s life.”

A life-long Minnesota resident, Harris has been unemployed for almost a year and lives off of $77 a week. Her unemployment runs out soon.

“I’m shocked that this is my home state. That we’re becoming just tyrants and picking on poor people.”

“I hope you guys find some conscience somewhere. That’s why we put you here.” she told Minnesota lawmakers holding a hearing on welfare.

“What kind of state are we becoming? This bill is not Minnesota nice,” Harris said as she waived the welfare reform bill at lawmakers. “You are playing with people’s lives. It’s a class war and it has to stop. Do not pass this bill.”

Republican lawmakers did not heed Harris’ warning. All of them on the Senate Health and Human Services committee voted to pass the restrictions on welfare.

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