BREAKDOWN OF WELFARE PROPOSALS
• HF 2080, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, would reduce the amount of time an individual could collect benefits from the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) - which provides economic assistance to families trying to move out of poverty - from five years to three. The bill would change the qualifying income standards for families to join the program from 115 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to 100 percent. It also would institute a three-strikes-and-out rule for recipients who do not comply with state requirements for benefits. Right now, recipients are kicked off the program after their seventh violation.
• HF 2081 by Daudt. The bill would forbid recipients from using their electronic benefit transfer - or EBT - cards in states outside Minnesota or its four neighboring states. Anyone caught using an EBT card to buy alcohol or tobacco would lose state benefits.
• HF 2597 by Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, would require drug testing for anyone applying to the MFIP program. Applicants would be expected to pay for the drug testing, and would be disqualified for a year if they test positive.
• SF 1506 by Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, would require drug testing for anyone applying for MFIP and other benefits programs. Applicants would pay for the tests, but be reimbursed if their results came back clean. Bill would also require photo identification on EBT cards.
• SF 1507 by Gazelka, would double the waiting period from 30 days to 60 days before new arrivals to Minnesota could apply for public assistance.