JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Following a Missouri Senate vote on Monday night, the state House on Tuesday overrode Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of legislation its supporters believe would make Missouri’s welfare rolls more efficient, but its opponents say would boot thousands of children from the programs.
The measure, sponsored by State Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, would reduce the lifetime cap on how long someone can receive benefits from Missouri’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and strengthen a requirement that recipients be working or engaged in “work activity” like job training or community college.
Under the changes, about 3,000 families could lose their benefits, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. Benefits in Missouri are capped at $292 for a parent with two children,” Nixon said in a statement.
“It’s unfortunate because as Missourians we believe in protecting children, and needy kids have it hard enough as it is without legislators punishing them further for their parents’ actions
The move by the Republican-controlled legislature came just four days after Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed it. In his veto message, Nixon said the measure could eliminate more than 6,000 children from being eligible to receive assistance because their parents have received it for too long, and said that number could grow if those not engaged in a work requirement.