“Currently we are spending 41 percent less on TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) than we were in 2008. In the meantime, poverty, particularly childhood poverty, has gone up. How you rationalize those two numbers is beyond me,” Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said at a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing this week. Here’s how they reconcile the figures: At the same time needs of families have increased, the Brownback administration has tightened eligibility requirements for welfare, food stamps and child care assistance. Last year, Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland contrasted these policies with Jesus’ words in Matthew 25: “I was hungry, and you cut my food stamps. I was sick, and you refused to expand Medicaid.”
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