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Tax day protest demands: "Stop stealing from poor!"

by staff |
April 16, 2008
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Members of Welfare Rights Committee at Senate Rules Committee meeting, April 15,
Members of Welfare Rights Committee at Senate Rules Committee meeting, April 15, with piggy bank signifying the theft of federal welfare dollars by state legislators. (Fight Back! News/Kim Defranco)

St. Paul, MN - Low-income families spoke out April 15 against the state politicians who are raiding federal welfare (TANF) funds to balance the budget. The tax day protest was organized by the Twin Cities-based Welfare Rights Committee.

After the reading a statement on the steps of the State Capitol building that blasted moves to hijack federal welfare dollars, WRC members wound through the capitol complex holding a long banner reading, “Stop balancing the budget on the backs of the poor! Tax the rich.” Governor Pawlenty, House Speaker Kelliher and Senate Majority Leader Pogemiller had piggy banks delivered to their offices that showed the disparity between what the rich are getting out of this session, vs. what the poor are be losing.

The TANF fund is a block grant from the federal government that is supposed to be used for welfare for poor families. “It is a crime to take poor children’s money and dump it into the state’s general fund,” said Deb Konechne, of the WRC.

A deal between Republican Governor Pawlenty and the Democratic Party legislative leaders to divert TANF dollars was reached early on. The Welfare Rights Committee will continue to fight this attack on the poor in coming

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