State lawmakers consider lifting family cap rule on welfare


IN SPRINGFIELD, CHICOPEE, HOLYOKE AND AMHERST. BARRY: THE STATE’S INVOLVED IN A WAR ON POVERTY, BUT SOME PEOPLE THINK IT’S UNDER – FUNDED. 22 NEWS STATE HOUSE REPORTER ELISHA MACHADO EXPLAINS WHY LOW-INCOME FAMILIES ARE ASKING FOR STATE SUPPORT FOR THEIR CHILDREN. ELISHA MACHADO: LOW-INCOME FAMILIES TOLD 22 NEWS THAT, UNDER THE CURRENT WELFARE SYSTEM, THEY STRUGGLE TO PROVIDE THEIR CHILDREN’S BASIC NEEDS, LIKE CLOTHING AND FOOD. THEY’RE CALLING ON STATE LAWMAKERS TO SUPPORT A BILL TO REPEAL THE FAMILY CAP RULE THAT DENIES BENEFITS TO CHILDREN BORN INTO FAMILIES ON WELFARE. A MOTHER AND ONE CHILD CURRENTLY RECIEVE $478 DOLLARS PER MONTH. LIFTING THE CAP WOULD GIVE FAMILIES WITH ANOTHER CHILD $100 DOLLARS MORE PER MONTH, MONEY THEY SAID CAN HELP PROVIDE THEIR CHILDREN WITH BASIC NEEDS. STATE SENATOR SAL DIDOMENICO, VICE CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS: “ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR ADDITIONAL PER MONTH IS THE DIFFERENCE SOMETIMES OF FEEDING YOUR CHILDREN THAT DAY, BUYING DIAPERS. YOU CANNOT BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY IF YOU DON’T GET A LITTLE HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT.” THE STATE’S BUDGET COMMITTEE IS WORKING TO ALLOCATE FUNDING FOR NEXT FISCAL YEAR. SOME STATE LAWMAKERS WOULD RATHER PUT MORE MONEY TOWARD JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS THAN KEEPING FAMILIES ON THE WELFARE SYSTEM. STATE REP. TIMOTHY WHELAN, (R) BREWSTER: “I JUST DON’T WANT TO SEE THESE BENEFITS BECOME A TRAP THAT PEOPLE RELY ON. I BELIEVE VERY STRONGLY IN A HAND UP NOT A HAND OUT.” CRITICS ARGUE THAT SOME WELFARE FAMILIES ABUSE THE SYSTEM. BUT ONE MOTHER TOLD 22 NEWS SHE’S FORCED TO SPLIT BENEFITS BETWEEN TWO CHILDREN. JESSICA F., “CAMPAIGN TO LIFT THE CAP OFF KIDS”: “PEOPLE ARE NOT HERE TO STAY ON THE SYSTEM. IT’S A STEPPING STONE. I WORKED 15 YEARS BEFORE I ACTUALLY NEEDED HELP AND I PAID 15 YEARS WORTH OF TAXES. WHEN I NEED THAT HELP, THAT’S WHAT I SHOULD HAVE.” ELISHA MACHADO: GOVERNOR CHARLIE BAKER BUDGETED MORE THAN 148 MILLION DOLLARS IN AID TO FAMILIES WITH DEPENDENT CHILDREN, BUT THE BUDGET STILL HAS A LONG WAY TO GO BEFORE IT IS FINALIZED.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *