Nixon hints at opposition to bill that would cut TANF assistance

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon hinted at opposition to a measure passed by the General Assembly last week that would remove thousands from the state’s welfare rolls.

Nixon said the legislation, which would lower the state’s lifetime eligibility cap on benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families to three years and nine months, could harm children he views as innocent bystanders.

“We all agree with the need for personal responsibility,” he said, referring to the bill’s strengthened work requirement. But when it comes to “the kids part,” he said, he has a “hard time figuring out why” it is necessary.

“I’ll look at it focused on kids,” Nixon said.

Democrats, speaking in opposition to the measure, have claimed it could eliminate 6,310 children from the program.

The measure passed both chambers with veto-proof majorities, and lawmakers passed it in time for Nixon to have to act on it while they are in session, meaning they could override a veto before they head home for the summer.

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