Archive for Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Statehouse Live: Brownback says he will look into SRS food stamp policy that has cut assistance to some but plans no change

January 24, 2012, 11:23 a.m. Updated January 24, 2012, 5:36 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback’s office on Tuesday said he doesn’t plan to change a new state policy that has eliminated or reduced food stamp benefits for hundreds of low-income, U.S.-born children whose parents are illegal immigrants.

In response to a question from the Lawrence Journal-World, Brownback said he wanted to speak with field staff with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services to determine the impact of the new policy affecting food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

But later in an email from the governor’s office, Brownback’s spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said, “The Governor has requested an update on the SNAP but does not plan to make any additional changes. Any member of the Legislature who wants to offer an amendment to the budget regarding this issue certainly may.”

The cuts are the result of SRS changing the way it counts households and household income when determining who is eligible for SNAP.

Earlier this week, the Kansas City Star reported that families affected by the change are those that contain a mixture of legal citizens and illegal immigrants. While illegal immigrants are not eligible for the food assistance, U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants can be.

The issue is that the SNAP formula now includes the entire income of all members of a household but calculates food stamp eligibility as if the citizen children are the only people in the household. Previously, SRS counted only a portion if one or more members did not provide proof of legal U.S. residency.

Since the change took effect Oct. 1, food pantries, churches and social service agencies have been inundated with questions and requests for food.

Jones-Sontag said, “The policy decision to include all incomes of adult members of a household has nothing to do with cutting aid off of children of individuals who decline to provide proof of legal presence in the United States. It is about properly calculating household income and treating all citizens equally.”


Bob_Keeshan 6 years, 5 months ago

"My top priority is eliminating child poverty in Kansas" -- Sam Brownback

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

Easily accomplished if children were born only to those who could afford them.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

I know what you mean jh! A friend of mine had a son a few years ago and shortly before he was turning three, his father (my friend's husband) died suddenly and unexpectedly. Not long after the passing, bills mounted up and expenses added up and before you know it, they lost their house. Shame on her for having a child that she can't afford. What an evil person she is as she should have know in advance that she could not afford her son when she was making him. You are so right Brownback, I mean jh!

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

There will always be times when extenuating circumstances such as you describe will happen. Yet the situation you describe is the uncommon one. The much more common situation is that people who are ill equipped to have children; financially, emotionally, psychologically are having children and they're having them at rates higher than those who are better able to deal with children. Add into the mix that we've become so politically correct that you can't say "don't have children you can't raise" without being called some type of "ism".

George_Braziller 6 years, 5 months ago

Situations like this happen more often than you want to believe.

TongiJayhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

It's always a good ideal to look into Term Life Insurance when you have small children.

Deb Stavin 6 years, 5 months ago

Sometimes a family's ability to provide for its kids is fine when the kids are born, but changes if a parent is suddenly laid off, or becomes ill, etc.

deec 6 years, 5 months ago

They may not be "excluded"; they just become ineligible. The total household income divided by the number of children means that their income is over the eligibility guidelines.

Amberella83 6 years, 5 months ago

Illegals pay sales tax, thus they do contribute to the economy.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

"How many work under the table, but never pay taxes?" === Good point, but who do you think pays them 'under the table?' The answer: People who want cheap labor and don't want to pay taxes themselves, AKA employers, often the same people griping about 'them immigrants.' There are no easy solutions to this; anyone who suggests otherwise is blowing smoke..."Maybe if we cut off jobs and all the other perks, they'll go home." === This is also true, and hundreds of thousands have done just that in the past few years.

JackMcKee 6 years, 5 months ago

Does Brownback have any idea what he's doing?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 5 months ago

Not really, but his businessman jesus is calling the shots now.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Bob Forer 6 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the post, RC1977. In these tough economic times it's hard to find a free punching bag.

somedude20 6 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

gatekeeper 6 years, 5 months ago

Funny, you republicans didn't blame Bush for anything, but the buck stops with Obama. Such hypocrits.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget the huge numbers of illegal immigrants either.

Stuart Sweeney 6 years, 5 months ago

Can't blame Obama, If you check Bush had more people on food stamps than Obama. Bush also started the corporate handouts and he wrecked the strong economy he received and handed it to Obama.

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

Bush did increase the corporate handouts and deregulation of the financial community that wrecked a strong economy. Any one who cries, when we call this economic position, Bush's legacy, is just spinning it. We are feeding the families Bush's cronies stole jobs from.

Amberella83 6 years, 5 months ago

I thought KS had a surplus. if that's true, then your reasoning makes absolutely no sense. We have a surplus, yet KS is cutting the food assistance programs, and that's Obama's fault? I don't understand. Please explain.

Amberella83 6 years, 5 months ago

There is a surplus in KS and yet he's cutting a budget for food assistance and that's Obama's fault? I don't understand your reasoning. Can you please explain?

Alceste 6 years, 5 months ago

Brownback knows just what he's doing: He began by bringing in a duffus hatchet man in Rob Siedlecki. Rob Siedlecki knew nothing about the various laws, rules, and regulations associated with public welfare programming such as TANF, SNAP, Energy Assistance, child care, etc., etc., etc. Nope.....Rob Siedlecki brought in some of the most regressive minded people who know the "tweaks" states are permitted by HHS in Washington to implement such that Kansas has become one of the most regressive, pennie wise and pound foolish states in the Nation. It is the laughing stock across the land. I kid you not.

Meanwhile, there has been a "war" of sorts going on in SRS Central Office for decades.....ever since Kansas shifted from a County based welfare system to a state run system. Remnants of that county run mentality exist to this very day. The "war" is between those who want to implement rules and regulations which are pro-active and, shall we say, lenient with respect to public welfare administration matters and those who prefer to chase "welfare cheats" (of which there really aren't that many....unless you count the vendors....) and $12.00 foodstamp overpayments rather than focus on processing applications in a swift and timely fashion. Well, them people done been waiting a good long time for their turn to give a good beat down to the impoverished and now they're running the show. That's what Brownback wants and that's what he's getting.

While Rob Siedlecki may not be in SRS anymore, his stupidity dominates the thought processes of the "leaders" within SRS and you can bet your last pair of under garments that "they're" going to be implementing even more regressive policies which inhibit and dissuade the citizenry from accessing their right to programs under U.S. law. All that being said, you can also count on them hillbilly farmers to receive their welfare payments in the form of price supports and such right on time. Brownback's family has receiving welfare down to an art. See for yourself: I love this country. It works! Amen.

Alceste 6 years, 5 months ago

So true: Wm. Jeff Kahrs is a professional Republican political hack. In 2010 he was only given $168,411.00 in cash money doing flunky work for Tihart. That figure does not include all the perks the boy got as well.

Alceste is more that satisified that Wm. Jeff Kahrs shall be making it more and more difficult for the impovershied of Kansas to obtain services of any sort.

oldbaldguy 6 years, 5 months ago

Makes me want to become an atheist and a democrat. What happened to "feed the children"?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

Is this a back door method of forcing illegal immigrants from Kansas?

Is this a back door approach to create more jobs for the people of Kansas?

If illegal immigrants is the issue why not bust the employers?

Their children are not illegal so why cut them off.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the Gov Brownback approach lacks a certain amount of reasoning,compassion and common sense.

Khublai_Juan 6 years, 5 months ago

The reason this change came about in the first place is because the previous method was actually discriminatory against American citizens. Under the previous policy you could have a household of four citizens be over income for food stamps, yet have a household of four with one or two of the parents being non-citizens, earning exactly the same amount of money, and they would qualify for food stamps. This change was intended to close that loophole.

Khublai_Juan 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree that it may not be the best way to go about closing the loophole, but there are a lot of inherent problems when dealing with non-citizens and benefit eligibility determination.. Non-citizens are basically able self-report the existence and amounts of any income being received and the verification requirements are then much more lax than with citizens. Unlike with citizens, there is no way to verify if a non-citizen is or has recently worked, it is basically up to them to admit to whether they are working or not. When they do work, it is often tax-free, under the table earnings. Since eligibility is determined using gross income for citizens, if we are counting the earnings of a non-citizen they are still earning more than a citizen b/c they will not then have taxes, Social Security, etc. taken out of their take home pay. Non-citizens also can essentially get cash assistance for free as well, which is another perk. If a citizen gets cash assistance, they will be required to participate in work program at least 20 hours week, which is intended to lead to a job and get them off of assistance. Because the state cannot place a non-citizen into a work program b/c of their illegal status and b/c they cannot be expected to obtain legal employment without a work visa or permanent alien card, non-citizens are allowed to receive cash assistance for their children with no participation requirements. If they so choice, non-citizens are able to hang out and have us pay them monthly with no expected requirements and they only have to report employment earnings if they choose to/feel like it. With these conflicting policies, it is easy to see how this issue can get charged with emotion on both sides. So wrong or right, this was at least an attempt to remedy one of the inequalities. I believe that the difference in taxes and Social Security that the non-citizens usually do not have to pay is in itself enough to offset any difference in food stamp benefit amounts that have occurred due to this policy change.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 5 months ago

Essentially, Browback is starving American children.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Alceste 6 years, 5 months ago

It isn't just Brownback: There is a large group of old timers in the SRS Central Office AND in some of the area offices who really have it in for recipients of Public Welfare services: An American RIGHT. These forces within SRS Central Office are pernicious and foul. They take glee in restricting applications and in denials. They are bitter, petty people and, sadly, they're in the driver's seat at this point.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 5 months ago

I have read your posts and realize you are an avid Brownback apologist, but the fact remains these are rule reforms Brownback pushed through and these are the consequences.

your apologies not withstanding, he is a false Christian, a failed leader and he is starving children.

Alceste 6 years, 5 months ago

What a post of tripe! Identifty one single post by Alceste supportive of anything Brownback and Company has done. ONE. I dare ya. Can't do it because there isn't one.

Brownback is just one guy. One guy is propped up by a bunch of dopes. These "one guy's" depend on different "bunches of dopes" to do their bidding.

Go on now.....make me eat my words: Post a single post; identify a single thread where Alceste has written ANYTHING supportive of what Brownback has done.....and that goes back to when he first entered the Kansas legislature; was actually elected and sent to Washington, D.C. as a U.S. Senator....and then came back to this hillbilly thinking state and was, again, elected gov. He got him a "bunch of dopes" propping him up! I dare say ivalueamerica is one of them!

pace 6 years, 5 months ago

Brownback is changing the face of Christianity. It isn't a kind and loving face, looks like a phelps.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 5 months ago

Illegal aliens should be leaving Kansas on their way to being deported. Front door, back door, side door, any door you choose. People who employ illegal aliens should be prosecuted. Life should be both unprofitable and unpleasant for the aliens who have invaded our country and those who are enabling that invasion.

Khublai_Juan 6 years, 5 months ago

The reason this change came about in the first place is because the previous method was actually discriminatory against American citizens. Under the previous policy you could have a household of four citizens be over income for food stamps, yet have a household of four with one or two of the parents being non-citizens, earning exactly the same amount of money, and they would qualify for food stamps. This change was intended to close that loophole.

Sunny Parker 6 years, 5 months ago

Work and pay taxes...feed your own children! People just keep having kid after kid with no regard to how they are going to put food on the table! Where is the responsibility! Keep taking others money and the money will run out!

Linda Endicott 6 years, 5 months ago

You guys are just overflowing with the milk of human you the warm fuzzies...let us hope that others are just as charitable towards you if the time comes when you need it...

(sarcasm intended)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 5 months ago

Brownback's MO is becoming pretty clear-- make extreme cuts and take extreme measures, and then once the backlash begins, backtrack in minor, but strategic ways.

pavlovs_dog 6 years, 5 months ago

That's doing the Brownbackistan shuffle!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.