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Bill to expand welfare in MN progresses at capitol

By Linden Gawboy |
February 27, 2017
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WRC testifies for the GAAIN bill, along with author Senator Chris Eaton, center. (FightBack!News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - A Minnesota state senate committee, on Feb. 27, acted favorably on a bill that expands welfare to people who, under current law, don’t qualify for any cash assistance. The Welfare Rights Committee (WRC) created the bill to Give Aid to All in Need - the GAAIN bill.

GAAIN calls for expanding state-funded General Assistance to people who have no income. This includes people who are unemployed and looking for work and families who have been cut off because of the five-year limit on welfare.

The Welfare Rights Committee has spent the last two months getting sponsors in the state house and senate and getting the bill introduced - it is House File 357 and Senate File 791. The chief authors are Representative Susan Allen and Senator Chris Eaton. The Feb. 27 hearing was in the Senate Human Services Reform Finance and Policy committee, which moved the GAAIN along for possible inclusion in the human services finance bill.

A statement from the Welfare Rights Committee notes, “In greater Minnesota, the seasonal and/or boom-and-bust economy leaves many people with nothing during hard times. If we are renters, we risk losing our housing by taking in destitute family members and friends. Small towns and poor neighborhoods will directly benefit from the GAAIN bill, as residents give back to the local economy.

“There is a reason that Trump won. Regular working and poor people have been feeling ripped off and ignored for a long time, by both parties. But we know that Trump, and the billionaires he speaks for, are bad for all of us. So let’s turn this ship around. Tell politicians to do something that will really help the people in need.”

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