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Minnesota Republicans say: Poor people with money should be outlaws

By staff |
March 15, 2011
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St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.

On March 15, Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee testified in front of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on House File 171. Buechner told committee members, “We would like to address the provision that makes it illegal for MFIP [one of Minnesota’s welfare programs] families to withdraw cash from the cash portion of the MFIP grant - and in fact, appears to make it illegal for MFIP families to have any type of money at all in their pockets. How do you expect people to take care of business like paying bills such as lights, gas, water, trash and phone?”

House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP - and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid - could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.

The bill also calls for unconstitutional residency requirements, not allowing the debit card to be used across state lines and other provisions that the Welfare Rights Committee and others consider unacceptable.

Buechner testified, “We’ll leave you with this. It is not right to punish a whole group because of the supposed actions of a few. You in this room could have a pretty rough time if that was the case. It is not right to stigmatize and dehumanize women living the hard life of trying to raise children while living 60% below the poverty level. It is not right to use racist, bumper-sticker hate to inflict human misery for political gain.”

See also: Minnesota Republicans continue push to make poor people with cash outlaws


corey101 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Fact 99% of the poor are innocent.

I can answer some of these questions and parts of others. I been through the hoops and know the hurtles personally. In that the results was going to determine if I live or die. None of it was luxury, All of it was covering a few necessities but not all. THIS IS LIFE AND DEATH. THIS IS NOT ABOUT NOT WORKING BECAUSE ONE DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT.

I am curious to know. How many of you actually know what the requirement to get cash assistance from Minnesota or other assistance for that matter?

Also which groups of people who are allowed to get the assistance?
pregnant women(pregnant are allowed for the benefit of the unborn in that unborn needs an advocate), seniors too old to work anymore, disabled who are to the point of unable to work and provide ones own income.

What are the other criteria of getting assistance?

no income,, no estates, no investments, no property, nothing of total value of all things added together to exceed 3000$ in value. No selling or signing away things of value in last 2-3 years I think.
No burial plots no retirement funds, no estates for dead relatives, etc Pretty much all that is allowed is the clothes on your back and your car, and anything that is deemed to not have any resale value.

Why do the people who are getting assistance get it in the first place?

either they are pregnant or they can't work for medical reasons. (THIS IS "NOT A CHOICE TO MAKE" whether to work or not as many of you would like to believe without looking at the facts.) Some of the seniors are getting the assistance, in that they lost their entire retirement funds to things like the 401k implosion for Enron. Or they are too old and sick to start over and have paid taxes their entire life. The social taxes such as SSI and medicare tax is paid forward meaning that the taxes are used on the people who are currently in need of help and when you retire or need help later the people working at that time is paying. Eventually 99% of the people go through this process. Only the top 1% don't due to extreme wealth. Meaning that you are only hurting yourself because the services won't be there when you need it.

If you really knew the facts and the actual statistics.....

Were you aware of the main reason why MN government shutdown recently?

If it wasn't for the governors veto disabled would have lost most if not all LIFE SUSTAINING ASSISTANCE.. Disabled are not on services by choice, they have valid medical conditions that prevent them from working, this is not laziness, and it is not even "sloth". Only thing that keeps them from dying is the LITTLE assistance that our government gives them. This is social responsibility. This is not fraud or stealing etc by those getting assistance. This is life and death for us disabled.

What is one of the big issues Why MN in such dire financial straights?

One of the big chunks is sales tax money used to run state. MN its 7 cents.
How many of you buy online and actually mail the state its 7 cents per dollar sales tax on everything but clothing and food??? This is tax evasion.
Tax evasion leads to government shutting down due to lack of funds.
rich people evade all the time. Most of them got their wealth off other people toiling and suffering for them. Very few made their own goods to be sold to others for example. With power and wealth comes great responsibility, in that the little things those people do can have major impact on the many around them. Poor on other hand can hardly get the time a day much less impact those around them in any significant way.

This next piece is my opinion and is to be reflective of the rest of my post. Vast majority of the 1% are actually sociopaths. They will literally screw anyone over to make a buck, not in an honest venture. Example close plants in USA then take it to china or elsewhere to avoid wages and human rights and environmental laws etc, then bring the goods back here underselling local businesses doing honest business and pocket the profit difference that is gained by not paying American level wages.. So profit becomes unpaid wages and unpaid circumvention of protection laws that would cost them some money. So again rich ARE NOT VICTIMS. The higher taxes simply taking back what they literally stole by circumventing honest business..

The little assistance we do get is barely enough to keep us alive as is. After all assistance I personally get its less than 1/2 national poverty. My transportation is a bicycle nothing else.

the next 3 questions are answered in the following:
Why is MN really pushing drug testing?
What % of Florida drug test failed and what was primary drug used?
How many of ones in Florida refused to test and lost their assistance as result?

They are following what Florida did, even though courts have deemed it unconstitutional and illegal to blanket drug testing a single class "poor"..

MN does not care that less than 1% were using drugs. What they see is the 1400 people out of total of 9400 who refused to take the test on the basis it is in violation of the 4th amendment search and seizure without probable cause.. Less than 1% of them were actually guilty based on numbers found to have drugs 33 out of 7000. This means that 99% of the 1400 people were honest people who had a legal right to the services who got dropped. Layman terms They want to justify dropping honest people from services, they don't care about the less than 1% who are actually on drugs. The 33 caught in Florida were using marijuana. Florida mainly retirement state so most likely it was for chronic pain not illegal use per-say. Legal pot pill may not be covered by insurance , I could be wrong on this last point though.

Is it even constitutional for government to blanket drug testing without probable cause? (comparison to military drug testing is not a valid comparison in that military has access to weapons of mass destruction and they sign away their rights for the duration of their tours.).

Blanket testing for drugs by the "government" is unconstitutional because it violates the 4th amendment. On the other hand if they require drug testing only of those that have a "PROVEN" history of drug abuse, such as, criminal records, then those individuals and ONLY THEM and NO ONE ELSE is tested then it is not in violation of the 4th amendment in that the criminal record is considered probable cause for the testing to take place. by blanket drug testing your declaring all people guilty, When we are innocent till proven guilty.

Are poor any more likely to do drugs than the rest of the population?
Statistics have proven that poor are no more likely to do drugs than rest of population. druggies are less than 1% of the poor meaning 99% are innocent.

Is there a background check and are those excluded, if they have criminal past, like conviction of drug abuse?
Yes they are barred from receiving assistance except rehab.

The rest is more on personal direct experience, There seems to be lack of personal experiences of the people who actually use these services and I have the courage to share mine, so to start putting a face on the poor who represents the 99%

First off in order to get cash assistance as of 6-7 years ago only 3 class of people were allowed to get it. pregnant women, seniors who couldn't work, and disabled who couldn't work. NO ABLE BODY PEOPLE ALLOWED. TWO of these groups are people who physically or mentally can not hold a job or even get hired. There is NOTHING to be done to get these two groups back to work, this is a physical and medical limitation. NOT A FRAME OF MIND

Ask yourself how many employers will hire someone with a severe deformity to the face and actually pay them enough to survive on comfortably? It is worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack.

How many employers will hire people that turn "blue" literally right before their eyes or go down because their hearts decide to misbehave and no matter how much you try you can't stay on your feet? Then Being carted off to the ER in fear that the person is actually dieing? I am personally in this boat. I nearly lost a job because my heart decided to not function right, causing me to be lifted to the ER via Ambulance for defective heart. 4 other times following I have turned BLUE. I am unemployable as result. I am disabled under the disability insurance of SSA This is based on 5 years of accumulated medical records and life file.

I literally can not get a job despite wanting to earn my way through life. I was a workaholic. I was the first in, last out. I could work long hours without supervision and be trusted to do 110% the whole time. I paid my taxes and still pay taxes. I never asked for handouts while I was able bodied. I figured I was going to be alright till retirement or beyond. Then one day like a light switch it all changed. Literally my heart went AWOL my heart started doing 180-200 beats a minute and was audibly knocking If people were quiet enough they could hear it. Chemical additives in food at a restaurant caused a congenital defect to rear its ugly head. This cause me to have heart surgery at 26. I never been the same after. Between the torture for being hard of hearing with little bit of learning disability and the intelligence to be in the top 1/5 of my class and the heart issue caused atypical panic to form. Anything can set me off. Symptoms were always changing so never knew if it was life threatening or Atypical panic attack. Turning blue, going blind temporary, lethargic for hours on end. episodes of irregular heart rhythm that could be felt. These are Not in my head and are physically debilitating. Turning blue is NOT a panic symptoms It belongs to some unknown underlying condition That they will not explore due to money issues.
For those ignorant to what blue means is you are literally not getting oxygen or air to your body. Basically on verge of death..

I exhausted all my savings. I would apply all over and I would get turned down saying position filled, but the sign stayed up that they were looking for employees. In other words, my disability prevented me from getting hired. I can not lie about the nature of my disability on applications , just to get hired. it is criminal to do so.

After exhausting all my options, I realized to my horror, I was unemployable. I never wanted hand outs or assistance. I still had a lot to prove to the world and myself. I wrestled with myself for a week after that realization, on the verge of having no money to feed myself. I swallowed my pride and filed for disability insurance with SSA, and other assistance with the state.

next 5 years went around in circles with SSA being in adult foster care and also homeless for 3 months at the coldest part of the year in a northern boarder state.

I was accused of many things while I was homeless, even police were ready to LIE on a report just to put a roof over my head. I was literally being harassed by society just for being homeless, while I waited the outcome of SSA ruling.

Eventually I got the RSDI disability insurance at the 4 1/2 -5 year mark.

I miss working, especially outdoors. My pride is the reason I feel guilty for getting help when I really need it. My body has limits Nothing in my mind will change that fact. I loose my assistance I die. I am only getting the absolute bare minimum to survive. Less than 1/2 national poverty.

I been a law abiding citizen my entire life. I have turned in criminals on several occasions. I have received several rewards over the years like best worker of the year of southern part of our state and other such similar rewards. I had volunteered a lot over the years even helping with the tornado that destroyed ST Peters in MN back in 98. I legally trained a service "cat" to Alert for the Atypical Panic.only to loose my civil rights in march 2011 after 6 years of loyal service to me.

I know personally what happens when our civil and constitutional rights are ignored or bluntly violated such as what this blanket drug testing would do.
I have never committed a crime as far as I know. When I interact with people I actually put myself in their shoes to know if my actions would hurt me I would never do it upon another.

Point is I am not a criminal. I am not poor by choice. I am legally disabled. Society plays a bigger role on keeping me in the mud by its rules and disregarding of my rights. I have constitutional rights too.
If I don't, then America I loved has DIED.

Corey disabled Innocent, getting branded as a criminal.
You are welcome to repost this letter as long as it is kept intact in its entirety. and is used in a NON PROFIT MANOR

Anonymous wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

welfare are for liberals

liberals are milking welfare get off your rear end and work!

Anonymous wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Listen with your eyes.

No, listen with your heart.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

This comment is for Red

This comment is for Red Barron: You said that no one is stopping them from getting a job, but you don't know what it's like, apparently, to walk in their shoes. Depending on the circumstances, many people on government assistance - though they're not told this - are denied employment, though they search for it. Many employers won't give people with, for instance, bad credit, a chance to work. They see them as some kind of risk. People who may have been unemployed for over a year can be and are easily rejected for employment. You make the assumption that everyone who's on government assistance is lazy and that everyone is given an equal opportunity and contrary to your belief, that isn't the case. So the next time you want to make an assumption about the poor, remember to equally assume that they're victims.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I'm writing in response to

I'm writing in response to John Shannon: Why are those who aren't in need of public assistance held to the same level of financial accountability as those who are? Why should there be a double standard? It's not right to believe that it's fair to monitor money you're given more than money you earn. The person who works 40 hours a week and blows his money on alcohol or drugs is no less of a threat when he's drunk than the person who blows his welfare money on alcohol. Where do people get the idea that your value decreases when your money decreases? That's wrong. I know that God doesn't see things that way. It's just this corrupt capitalist mentality that so many people share that's messing everyone up. The rich act like they're going to die if they share anything with the poor.

Realist wrote 5 years 27 weeks ago

Part of the Plan

Anyone who can't support themselves will become a ward of the state prison system, and employed with private firms at little cost to them. As this is already going on across the nation, there isn't much to do to expend this system except to sweep up the indigent and low-income folks for wageless enslavement.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 28 weeks ago

foodstamps, failure to report cash gift.

I didn't know I was supoused to report cash help my family gives me to pay rent and utility bills while collecting foodstamps. Now there's an welfare fraud investigator asking for the names and phone numbers of family members helping me. Is these really bad? He wants to come to my house and interview me about it.what sould I spect and what can I do now. Help please.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 29 weeks ago

Well don't complain when u

Well don't complain when u see a rise in homelessness and crime.
By passing this law. Poverty is the mother of crime why not figure out a way to provided decent paying Jo s to these people with decent. benefits and hire. them so they dont need you'd welfare

Anonymous wrote 5 years 29 weeks ago

sick just sick!!

The next stage in their plan will be the "final solution", so the rich people can say "we were only following orders" - sick ba$tards!!

Anonymous wrote 5 years 29 weeks ago

(@last sentence) "racist"? I

(@last sentence) "racist"? I don't recall "poor" being a race... That's pretty much irrelevant, i just hate how people seem to toss around the word "racist" inappropriately all the time. I believe a better term would be "prejudiced".
Also, I wonder if any of you people have even read the original text. In its original form, it said nothing about a cash limit, $20 or otherwise, regardless of where it was from. Since then, it has gone to its 1st engrossment. The only mention of any cash limit is that a MFIP recipient can opt to receive up to $20 cash monthly CASH BACK FROM A VENDOR. It doesn't say anywhere that if they have more than $20 a month in their coat pocket they'll be arrested, its just saying they can only have $20 cash dispensed from their aid. And frankly i kinda agree with it. If they need more, they're free to work for it. Other than that, the only limitations are against alcohol and tobacco purchases and cross-state usage of the card, and if you're in that bad a financial situation, can you really justify a travel to another state or buying unnecessary tobacco or alcohol? If this were truly draconian law, their welfare would be cut altogether, the government is just still trying to find the best balance between being cheated and helping those in need, and i think people who act as though they could solve the problem so easily are simply being shortsighted given the fact that their personal method hasn't been enacted and therefore hasn't had any time for its holes to show how flimsy it really is (or isn't, as the case may be).

M. S. Cross wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

me again...

I was the first Comment on here and have read the follow-ups and am glad people are doing some THINKING out there! I decided to add a comment in response to people like Tara--I saw people in The System who intended to stay in it for the duration, and was astounded. I knew of 3 women with multiple children who helped each other go between Arizona, California and Colorado getting benefits from all 3 states! For sure, they exist. But for sure there was the majority, like myself, who wanted to do more than subsist, so it was extra awful how difficult that same system made it to get OUT and be independent. Now with the help of technology, I am assuming things like that can no longer happen?
Must be forever grateful, though, as it ultimately allowed me to raise children who, despite the odds being against us all, have turned out to be good people who take care of themselves w/o government assistance--unless you count two of them being police officers and one working for the Foreign Service.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

To everyone wringing their hands over welfare fraud

Most people who are on welfare are not proud of it. Sure, there are some people who game the system, or who buy booze and cigarettes with the money along with food. And here I am, a taxpaying member of the middle class, saying that I honestly DO NOT CARE if some person in excruciating poverty purchases a pack of cigarettes with their welfare money. If I was living below the poverty line in constant fear of ending up out on the street or running out of food, I'd probably want a drink or a smoke now and then, too.

The people cheating the system aren't cheating it very well, because you know what? THEY ARE STILL LIVING IN ABJECT POVERTY. It's just slightly less abject than they represent it to the government. Oh, boo hoo, they get free money from the government, some of which may not be acquired 100% honestly. It's still effectively a nightmare-world for those of us rich enough to sit around here debating how moral it is to throw a few scraps to someone who might not be the perfect embodiment of the Protestant work ethic. None of the people griping about the laziness of the poor would ever willingly change places with them. I expect this is because they know the poor aren't generally lazy. Many are trapped and hopeless, but would happily work if a job came along that offered adequate compensation and benefits. Who in their right mind would leave welfare for a minimum wage position that gives them roughly the same income, but now they have to spend more money on transit and childcare, lowering the overall amount of money available to their family?

Give people their fucking dignity. There will always be lazy people and criminals of all social classes, folks happy to acquire funds dishonestly. However, most people prefer not to take charity at all (including public assistance) nor cheat the government (though stealing is often seen as more dignified than taking welfare, let's face it). They end up on welfare because they need to survive, and the restrictions on welfare, in combination with the state our country is in economically (top 1% of fat cats happily getting fatter while saying they can't afford to create more jobs, pay better wages or offer benefits), make it hard to move out of that income bracket.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 30 weeks ago

I have never been on welfare

I have never been on welfare but it seems this will greatly increase the homeless population and poverty breeds crime. So don't complain about the increase in homelessness or crime

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago


From what I could tell, the proposal would make it illegal to get more than $20 from the EBT card. That, of course, is totally rediculous. I agree that they are making it impossible for people to actually get out of the system. On the other hand, the article above says that it would be illegal for them to have more than $20 in their pocket. That doesn't seem accurate according to what I've read.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Another Dumb Law

From a Libertarian viewpoint I believe that every american has the right to carry as much cash on them as they desire. This makes this law very dumb, especially when they can't enforce the laws they already have. I also believe it is unconstitutional to take money from one person by force (income taxes) and give it to another. In any other setting this would be criminal. Unfortunately, politicians have been doing this forever and a lot of the money is not going to the poor.
My mother raised eleven kids (catholic) by herself with the aid of public assistance. Not something she was particularly proud of but couldn't have made it without help. As we all got old enough to work we had to give half of every pacheck to her to help pay bills and buy groceries.

Unfortunately america is no longer the "land of opportunity" that it was in the past. This you can blame on the republicans and the democrats. If you remember, NAFTA was signed into law by a democrat (Clinton). Now many of our fair paying jobs have been shipped to other countries in an effort to keep "good relations" with the rest of the world. We have basically become service worker and consumers. Surely we can all agree that if we brought back the jobs that we have lost to "good foreign policy" that some of our, if not a lot of our poverty would be eliminated. Certainly this would not be a cure all but it would be a start.

Now this is where I might step outside my libertarian pod a bit and draw some criticism from my fellows. In order for me to continue to work at the job I have I must submit to a random drug test. It would seem to me that quite a bit of the abuse of public assistance money could be thwarted if recipients of aid would have to also submit to a drug test. Those that are truly in need of help and are trying to make it on their own would rather be able to pay their bills and feed their kids than do drugs. There... I said it! Now go ahead and beat up on me!

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

So how are they going to enforce this?

Does this mean that they can be frisked and their house and car searched for money any time, any where? What about possession of a cash receipt?

redbarron wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Oh please... quit the

Oh please... quit the whining... so you can only get $20.00. As a tax payer working 2 jobs I would be happy to get the $20.00. If you are so upset about it than do what I had to do.... get yet another job. I am so sick and tired of working with people who do nothing but complain about not being able to have this or that..... all the while living in govermnent housing, having their rent paid, medical paid, utilities paid, free school lunches for their kids... yada.. yada... yada... HOWEVER, they always have money for cigs and happen to have money to go to the bar after work on Friday.. so please do me a favor and STOP the whining.. NO ONE is stopping them from getting another job..and NO ONE is forcing them to have all these kids that they claim they can't feed. There should be a ONE kiddie limit on welfare... can't feedm' don't breedm'.. And they should also implement a mandatory drug test every Friday before those EBT cards can be used... I have to take a random drug test for my SECOND job,... so they should too!

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago


Now that all the "compassionate" have gotten their daily whining off their chests,my humble suggestion would be to go and actually READ the law.You will find it in no way resembles the hysterical ranting going on here. Of course,I don't expect many of you to actually educate yourselves and stoop to reading that which you yell about.It's much more fun to just tell each other what you want to hear.

dennycrane wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

The Tories:

...........the next thing on the tory agenda will be "Debtor Prisons."

D Krasyk wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

There are too many leeches on welfare

There are way too many poor people collecting welfare benefits. They buy lottery tickets, booze, cigarettes and fancy gold jewelry.
This bill limits how and where they can spend the help the government is giving them. If someone is paying your bills, I think that person has reason to control how you spend your money.
If these people are responsible enough to support themselves, why would we think they are responsible enough to handle the money the government gives them.
I am tired of my tax money going to help the stupid and lazy.

AFruit4Thought wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Errors in Facts are Just Semantics

Okay, so I have read the legislation. No, it does not say that you can't have more than $20 in your pockets. HOWEVER, if you survive on government help, then you can only get $20 a month in cash from your card. If you have NO OTHER INCOME, you will, in effect, only have $20 in cash that entire month. Thus, illegal to have more than $20 in cash in your pocket. It's only semantics.

As for those that blame people who abuse the system:
1. The majority do not abuse the system. The "system" is so complex that it is tough to out maneuver it. The hard part is actually getting the system to acknowledge that you need help.

2. If we reduce welfare because some people cheat... Should we not then reduce tax breaks to the rich because of the few that commit tax fraud? Tax fraud by the wealthy costs the US government WAY MORE a year than fraud from those on welfare.

And finally, if you haven't actually been in a welfare agency and listened to people's stories, I don't think that some of you should judge them as harshly as you do. What if they need to spend money out of state because they're taking care of a loved one? What if they need cash to get their kids pens and pencils? What if they need cash because the stores that accept EBT are too far away to get to? Give the impoverished the benefit of the doubt for 5 seconds, and you'll see how the welfare system works to trap them and never let them leave.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Complete fabrication!

Go read the bill. Nowhere does it say the things that the reporter lock-step reports with other liberally biased media groups. If you believe his article you are a moron.

GodWillGetYou wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Over reacting are we?

The issue is that the ebt monies will be restricted to use at specific places which could make it susceptible to more cronyism. The fact that individuals will be given access to only $20. cash per month is the fact. If ebt card holders receive more money from other sources, they must report it, and the amount is deducted from their monthly stipend.
It's not that they are being frisked for cash on hand, but that their ability to spend it as they wish is severely restricted. No one I know could put up with that. Will the stores and businesses they deal with have goods at fair prices? Has this been mandated? Or will they carry over-priced sub-standard goods because their customers are those without a voice?
Others have written in about the rife abuse of ebt and welfare funds, but I daresay those abusers are in the scant minority, just as evil, theiving self-serving politicians are.

kejernyoli wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Is this the bill in question?

Is this the bill in question? Maybe I'm misreading it but I don't see anything about people's pocket money here.


Subdivision 1. Electronic benefit transfer or EBT debit card. (a) Electronic benefit transfer (EBT) debit cardholders in the general assistance program and the Minnesota supplemental aid program under chapter 256D and programs under chapter 256J are prohibited from withdrawing cash from an automatic teller machine or receiving cash from vendors with the EBT debit card. The EBT debit card may only be used as a debit card.

Beginning July 1, 2011, cash benefits for programs listed under paragraph (a) must be issued on a separate EBT card with the head of household’s name printed on the card. The card must also state that “It is unlawful to use this card to purchase tobacco products or alcoholic beverages.” This card must be issued within 30 calendar days of an eligibility determination. During the initial 30 calendar days of eligibility, a recipient may have cash benefits issued on an EBT card without the recipient’s name printed on the card. This card may be the same card on which food support is issued and does not need to meet the requirements of this section.

Notwithstanding paragraph (a), EBT cardholders may opt to have up to $20 per month accessible via automatic teller machine or receive up to $20 cash back from a vendor.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Just another reason...

why poor people should do everything in their power to get off welfare and public assistance. I would say that those on public assistance are treated like pets and not like human beings, but I'm sure that these Repubs treat their pets much better. Many Republicans want to make abortion illegal but have nothing but disdain for poor women who "choose life" and cannot support their offspring. Many Republicans and Democrats support drug-testing as a means test for those on public assistance, as if these people have no right to self-ownership or privacy. Social workers feel justified to make random visits to the homes of those on public assistance. They feel justified to invade their financial privacy to determine whether they are defrauding the system. In fact, it appears to me that those on public assistance are not permitted to have lives of their own, as the State seems to think that their paltry welfare checks entitle it to trample on every dignity and nobility that would be considered basic human rights.

The rich envy the poor and middle classes. They fear our numbers. And, as far as I'm concerned, they should. One day, we will eat them alive.

scyllacat wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Tara, as soon as you've been

Tara, as soon as you've been down and out and had to find ways to game the system in order to get your needs met, then I'll listen to you criticize people in whose shoes you will then have walked.

And don't worry about the invasion of immigrants. Things keep going like they are now, soon, You'll live under a piece of tin under a tree, and you won't have to worry about those immigrants coming to steal your way of life.

someone who actually read the bill wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

read the bill- not the lies

I actually read this bill. This article is full of misinformation. Also I note that most of the commenters hadn't read the bill either.
This bill does not restrict anyone's ability to carry cash!
There is no provision in this bill for criminalizing the carrying of cash!
this bill simply restricts the ability of welfare recipients to withdraw their "welfare money" as cash from ATM's and spend it on whatever they wish (legal or illigal merchandise or services)
It also restricts welfare monies from being spent outside of the state of residency and changes the residency requirement from 30 days to 90 days.
Welfare recipients are allowed to carry cash. They are also allowed an allowable income before benefits are reduced, usually several hundred dollars or more depending on household size. yes the law states that they need to report this income, how else would the welfare department be able to fairly allocate funds to the people that need them most. commenter #38 complaind that a family of 3 ONLY gets $532 a month, not exactly true, they would also get another $473 in food support benefits totaling over $1000 a month. This bill will actually help many families actully use thier welfare benefits for items like food, and clothes, instead of big screen TV's, 22" wheels on the donk, drugs, tattoo's, liqour, lottery tickets, cases of soda pop etc. Oh and for those who worry about paying rent, the welfare dept. will send checks directly payable to a landlord; happens all the time.
How dare the legislators actully insist that tax payer money to support the poor is actually used used to feed and cloth them.

ReadTheLaw wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Wow. You people should actually read it.

Read the law. The left wing blogosphere is lying to you. All the legislation does is control the amount of cash that can be withdrawn from ATM machines from a state issued EBT card. They're not legislating how much cash from other sources someone can carry.

This kind of thing is disgusting. One idiot completely lies about something and the left wing elements in this country take it and run with.

OMG OMG OMG look what the Republicans are doing!! OMG OMG OMG EVIL EVIL OMG OMG

Get a grip, people.

Chimera wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Red Herring

That $20 thing in a Red Herring. What's really go on here is making all transactions that used to be done with cash instead be done with a debit card. They probably want to issue a new kind of debit card for it -- on which, guess what, is managed by folks like your good friends at Bank of America. Oh. Yeah. Don 't forget about the fee that BoA charges the State for taking care of this little matter. Or the nice little (6%?) fee they charge merchants for each transaction. So folks have to use the State/BoA debit card at approved places and BoA makes out like a bandit.

Were I a resident of Michigan, I'd be looking into campaign donors of the sponsors and writers of this legislation. BoA? Citi? Wells Fargo? etc...

Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

No bargains for you!

Many of the poor don't routinely shop retail, simply because they can't afford to pay the price for new things. Many purchase everyday necessities like clothing and household goods used from secondary sources like yard sales, Craigslist, eBay, charity shops, estate auctions, etc. where cash and checks are widely expected. Online sources, like ebay, won't even be an option, as PayPal is not a Minnesota company and won't qualify for their ebt card program.

This is frankly stupid, and will make the poor poorer if they are forced to turn to only traditional retailers for their necessities. Is really just a way for the bank who would be managing all those cards and transactions to get more money in fees. Banks don't make money when people pay for things with cash. Force the poor to only use a special card with a business that has a special ebt processing machine and people are forced to shop at those retailers making the retailers more money, and the bank more money, while diminishing the poor's already limited buying power even more.

Shame on you.

LeonFellpool wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago


Soo.... Democrat "Big Government" is bad
"Republican Big Government" is good because they know whats best?


Anonymous wrote 5 years 31 weeks ago

Totally Insane!

This is the most insane, inhuman thing I have ever heard of! What is happening to our country?? This is not leadership, this demeaning a group of people who are already struggling in life! Trust me people if this thing passes it would be long before they will come after the ones that just a cut above being poor; You, me and anyone else. . .

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago


So what will be the plan? Stop and search every poor looking person to see if they have cash? And if they do, will they be fined or put in jail? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense...

Tara wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

The Hate Issue...

I'll probably get flamed here but - I have to add a different perspective. I'm all about the truth. I do believe that the poor- the true poor and those who do have needs should be taken care of. But, as a Manager- I have seen people play the system in place where they use hard earned tax dollars and litterally game the system and regardless of what someone else tells you or what you believe right now - It does go on alot more than you care to see or believe.
I've interviewed people - asked them to come dressed for the interview and based on their job application they "were" qualified. But they deliberately sabatoged the interview by dressing down and some of the excuses ? - It was to "hot"- shruging the shoulders- smirk on the face...
Basically they had no intention of getting the job but had to report that they'd went to an interview.
Another one is those who have jobs but are filling for food stamps and lying about income. Still others I know did not want to work because they wanted to use their unemployment as a "vacation".
Now that being said- I and others realize the need for care for handicapped and those who are truely poor. While we are at it - why don't those who are unemployment just be told to trade places with the illegals here in this country and lets send the illegals back where they came from...
That would solve one aspect of unemployment. But my main point is that the tea party is made up of a myriad of people from many backgrounds and. You all strike me I "think" as wanting truth- I am telling my truth here as i've not only lived it. I do believe we should not just give handouts for those who do not have any desire to better themselves. It doesn't help right now that our borders are unprotected and I have personally known of People being layed off or not able to get a job that was wanted because illegals have TAKEN them. So for those who would say that illegals do the jobs because Americans won't.. That is simply not true. Americans are being squeezed out or layed off in favor of illegals. I feel we should boycott any known business who does this to an American citizen.
To me hating your citizens is when you take away their individual rights based on the constitution. You have to think for a minute back - those at poverty level right now... what are they doing to bring themselves out of it. Is anyone saying anything about the invasion of our Country with illegals? Don't blame Christians- Don't blame conservatives... we are all to blame for allowing this invasion and saying nothing. It will only get worse if the blame game keeps getting played while this other keeps being ignored... and then what happens when it knocks on your door?
Watch with your ears- Listen with your eyes.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

What happened to the right to privacy

The state offers you assistance and it ends there, they have no right to tell you how to manage it. If they have a problem with it they can revoke it sure, but to criminalize it? Add so many regulations and restrictions. The other poster is right, if you are on assistance and you are trying to go to school to get off assistance then shit like financial aid(if limited to college resources and not for living expenses) should not get in the way of your benefits.

Amazdem wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago


The article is misleading if you read the Bill it makes no allusion to the amount of money a recipient has on hand. The Bill simply removes the ability to make any cash withdrawals. It also increases the residency requirements to receive benefits from 30 days to 90 days. It restricts use of benefits to Minnesota. It requires a photo ID check by vendors. It also requires liquor,tattoo, cigarette vendors to ensure that EBT card access is blocked at their establishments and any ATM machines on the premises.

GodWillGetYou wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago


But it is deducted from what assistance you are given. So in that unlikely event, yes, you will have more than $20 in your pocket, and you won't go to jail. But it is still wrong to dehumanize people already living on the edge.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Wow Republicans really do

Wow Republicans really do hate America and it's citizens.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago


But if you get a cash gift and DO report it, then you are not in violation of any law. And there you go. You are a poor person with $21 in your pocket, and you can not be charged with a crime for "cash possession".

Please listen to people who are ON YOUR SIDE who are trying to keep the debate free of misinformation.

noabsolutes wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Oh, I see, just create a parallel economy...

Oh "Not so fast," if the source of your credibility is that you know "first hand," that means what you know isn't empirically valid. It's just what you see. And attempting to make the world work the way you imagine it does rather than taking into account that you aren't seeing the big picture is just base egotism. That's where these Republicans are coming from-- assuming that welfare=bad, that poor people=prone to cheating and lying, rather than dealing with the reality that people who are broke need cash and need to be able to make their own choices about how to spend it in order for the market to work. If we create a whole parallel economy and invent whole new technologies to separate people out from the rest of the economy as soon as they lose their job or their account balance drops to zero, there will be absolutely no mobility between being broke and getting by. No working class, no middle class, just have and have not.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

To anyone who has said "if it

To anyone who has said "if it were their relative they would see things differently". This is not always so. A mutual friend has refused to talk to his sister since she needed to go on public assistance, because he doesn't believe in any such programs.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago


This is not what America is all about. We are the land of opportunity but at the same time we support our people. Give the money to the people who need it and let them use it how they wish, some will squander it but the government has no right to dictate to ANYONE how to use their money.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

criminalization of the

criminalization of the poor!

Placed in the context of other Mn welfare laws, this bill would criminalize having more than 20 dollars per month in cash

Here is how it would work:

1) If you get cash from any source, current MN welfare laws require you to report it
2) According to current MN law - that amount is then subtracted from your grant
3) fail to report it - you can be charged with a crime - again according to current law
4) so if you have more than 20 dollars cash in your pocket and are getting public assistance - look out - you are an outlaw.

Keep in mind, a family of 3 gets 532 dollars.

This bill is a load of crap

Nerida Jane wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Looking on from Australia

I look on stunned. What on earth is wrong with America nowadays!!! Sometimes distance can give an overview that can't be seen when you are in the midst of it. It appears that the richest and most powerful 1% of Americans believe they aren't rich or powerful enough. So they are using every means at their disposal to deprive everyone else of their money and rights. They are doing this by convincing the vulnerable that anyone different to them or those unable to fight back, are to be feared and denied any public assistance. Here are the mega-rich taking public money in bucket loads in subsidies and tax cuts, while at the same time denying the poor and disadvantaged any help at all. You should be ashamed of yourselves for aiding and abetting this sinful behaviour. It only takes one accident, one death, one bad marriage or even one bad decision for you to find yourself in the shoes of the poor. It could be you or your child or your sister.... Find your conscience. Find your pride. Fight against wrong.

Greg Patrick wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It could also be consider

It could also be consider unconstitutional by the Federal Government or against Federal Government privacy laws.

Federal financial Privacy act could come into play here.

If Minnesota participates in Snap. The Federal Government wouldn't allow this.

Appalled from Australia wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

Poor people...outlaws?

What on earth has become of your country? I lived there for 12 years and I was just appalled at the way Republican types wanted to treat those in need. Have you no shame?

Your type claims that the world is in awe of your "lifestyle". Believe me when I say that the world is appalled and laughs at republicans and their nonsense, and I am thankful that that style of gutter behaviour doesn't exist here.

GodWillGetYou wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

@ #33

It doesn't criminalize it. It makes it impossible to get more the $20.00 in cash from their EBT for any given month. So no, it's not going to be illegal. Certainly some/most people will find some unscrupulous EBT vendors who will charge usurious fees (padding their own pockets) in exchange for cash. This could easily lead to costly layers of enforcement to prevent this practice. Why add to an already overextended system this onus on overburdened individuals? Oh, I forgot. It doesn't apply to you, so who cares? Silly me.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

It is obvious that the author

It is obvious that the author of this article nor most of you people responding have bothered to even read the proposed legislation. This article is a blatant LIE. NOWHERE does the the bill criminalize having more than $20 on your person by ANYONE.

I always suspect an article on legislation that doesn't link to it or quote the suspect wording of the legislation as ANY objectively intelligent person would. Many of you, are apparently not.

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

This article is fact

This article is fact based.

The point is that when the proposed legislation is put in the context of the rest of Minnesota's welfare laws it become illegal for folks on public assistance to have more than 20 dollars a month in cash.

And that is what is happening

Anonymous wrote 5 years 32 weeks ago

A hysterical, untrue claim!!!

There are many things to detest about the proposed legislation but it is not true that it would be illegal for Minnesota citizens on public assistance to have more than $20.00 in their pocket.

Yes, HF 171 would make it a lot more difficult for poor people to get cash, but if someone on public assistance had $30.00 on them, they would not be breaking the law.

Please correct your article. Other sites are linking to it and its spreading disinformation. Fighting the right is difficult enough. We don't need to give them weapons by appearing hysterical and misinformed.