In addition to restricting how welfare benefits may be spent – no cruises, swimming pool admission, etc. – a new state law passed and signed this legislative session also lowered the lifetime cap on receiving cash assistance from 48 to 36 months. As a result, about 350 Kansas families, including about 700 children, were scheduled to be dropped from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program on July 1. To its credit, the Kansas Department for Children and Families is delaying that cutoff date to Jan. 1. The cap will harm many struggling Kansas families, but at least the six-month implementation delay will give families a little more time to figure out how they will survive. – Phillip Brownlee
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