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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Brownback defends handling of programs designed to help poor Kansans

January 7, 2013, 3:31 p.m. Updated January 7, 2013, 4:16 p.m.

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— Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday defended his handling of programs designed to help the poor in the wake of a report that showed child poverty had increased during his tenure while poor families receiving cash assistance from the state had dropped.

Brownback said the 38 percent decrease in the number of families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families was because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job.

"I think that is a pretty modest requirement," Brownback said. "The best way to get out of poverty is a job," he said.

The Kansas City Star reported during the weekend that the child poverty rate in Kansas had increased from 14.5 percent in 2008 to 18.8 percent.

Approximately 39,000 Kansans received TANF when Brownback took office. Since then, the rolls have decreased by 15,000. That decrease includes 9,000 children.

Advocates for the poor have said the Brownback administration has implemented rules that make it more difficult for low-income families to receive help.

TANF is designed to help the poorest of the poor. To qualify, families can have annual incomes no greater than 28 percent of the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is approximately $6,500.

In 2011, the Brownback administration announced several major changes in TANF, including a reduction in the amount of time people can receive cash assistance over a lifetime to 48 months from 60 months.

Another policy requires that people look for 20 jobs a week as their applications are being processed. Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said the search for 20 jobs a week is flexible.

"That is our goal. But of course each individual case is different, as is each individual community. In smaller communities, obviously this is going to be a steeper hill to climb than in a metropolitan area. Caseworkers do have a certain amount of flexibility," she said. In addition, she said, mothers with infants in their homes are not held to this requirement.

Brownback said his administration is focused on getting people jobs and providing more stable family situations. He has also set up a task force to make recommendations on reducing child poverty.

Comments

sunny 1 year, 3 months ago

Keep reproducing and rely on the govt to feed your kids. It's the American way!

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KNUCKLEDRAGGER 1 year, 3 months ago

This good Catholic man has nothing but the best intentions for the poor .
Take all reproductive rights away from women, allow them to have multiple children with no means to care for them . Ignore New Testament Teachings such as the Beatitudes. Support Pro Death Penalty Candidates in your party .

Go to Church on Sun .

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hotel69 1 year, 3 months ago

My wife and I started out below the poverty level at one point. I worked three jobs and she worked two while I went to school so I could improve my skill set. We did not own a big screen t.v., we did not get our furniture from rent a center and we did not own IPhones. So, it can be done! People today have a sense of entitlement and think owning luxury items is their right. Help those that need it and cut off the freeloaders.

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JW1944 1 year, 3 months ago

Oh gee howdy, a family of 4 can't survive on $6500 a year? Let's see $400 a month might buy you a broken down 50 year old trailer to live in with no insulation, that's $4800 a year, that leaves about $35 a week for utilities, food, clothes, car payment, car insurance, gas, tires, school costs, Dr. bills, Dentist bills, + don't forget that Brownbutt raised taxes on the poor by 5000%. Brownback probably spends $6500 on one of his "non-political" parties at the Governor's mansion where they sit around smoking big cigars, eating caviar, drinking champagne & figuring out more ways to scr*w the poor!

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seriouscat 1 year, 3 months ago

Individual Subsidy Recipients 1 to 18 of 18 in Kansas Last Name: BROWNBACK Rank Name Location Subsidy Total 1995-2011 1 Glen R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 395,511.74 2 James R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 348,400.58 3 Loyd A Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 233,385.15 4 Mary K Dare Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 81,562.18 5 Sam Brownback Topeka, KS 66610 $ 48,852.00 6 John Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 42,424.04 7 Leo Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 25,350.01 8 Carlene L Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 25,263.40 9 Marion Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 19,760.06 10 Alan L Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 5,765.00 11 Keith Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 3,687.00 12 Herbert Brownback Lacygne, KS 66040 $ 2,831.00 13 Nancy E Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 2,631.00 14 Mary L Brownback La Cygne, KS 66040 $ 1,611.00 15 Clyde Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 1,337.00 16 B T Brownback Blue Mound, KS 66010 $ 1,273.00 17 Leona L Brownback Caldwell, KS 67022 $ 1,199.00 18 Leora Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 594.00

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Armstrong 1 year, 3 months ago

Too bad the unemployment problem can't be solved by excuses, they are in overabundance for the gimme crowd.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 3 months ago

If you live in a small town, how are you going to apply for 20 jobs a week? You might be able to to it, even in Lawrence, but many places won't let you fill out an application, unless they are hiring. How stupid.

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roadwarrior 1 year, 3 months ago

Living wage, sure. But should the salary for cleaning houses really be high enough to pay for 2 children and an out of work father ?? or, 5 children ? What level of "living" are our expectations of 'a job' based on ?

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Stain 1 year, 3 months ago

The Governor works for the Kochs, not for Kansans.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

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

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63BC 1 year, 3 months ago

According to this paper, Kansas poverty among kids was 24% in 2010 when he was elected and 20% now.

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Greg Cooper 1 year, 3 months ago

Where the hell is Trabert? I'm feeling in need of some of his words of wisdom to get over this feeling I have that the governor has little, if any, feeling for the poor of the State of Kansas, or any idea whatsoever what it is to ask twenty outfits a week for a job and be turned down, or even where these twenty places can be found.

Perhaps I'll simply shut my eyes and close my ears to the (probably self-induced) plight of the 18.8% of povery-stricken children and their families who are my neighbors and the consumers of the goods and services that the governor and his hench, I mean comrades, supply to those who can afford them.

For God's sake, people, we're reading here about nearly one in five children--CHILDREN!-- who have few, if any, of the comforts of life, let alone the basic necessities. Are we, Kansas, this heartless? Is it so important that we stand by our political "principles" to the detriment of CHILDREN who have no control of where or to whom they born or in what circumstances?

Those of you who have intimated that the poverty rate is overblown, that poverty is the fault of the poor, that bootstraps are better than life preservers, take a look at the world around, and outside, of you. Yes, there is much that some of the poor could do. But there is so much that they can not do that you take for granted, and now you advocate and cheer for rules and regulations that make it more difficult to raise CHILDREN who have no control.

But take heart, ye loyal Kansas Republican wanna-bes, soon there will be little left to worry about other than where we are going to bury all these kids who didn't apply for enough jobs and starved to death. "Sir, I want some more" will become illegal. And you who advocate the current Republican line will be very happy that you don't have the poor and disadvantaged and elderly to bother you any longer. Have a great day, you all, and please don't worry about anyone else. You've made a world where compassion and concern are outre', and kindness and love are reserved for those who can afford it. Congratulations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DsZrgxHvNNUc

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Machiavelli_mania 1 year, 3 months ago

There is a phrase I would just like to put out there in the wind: Pathological altruism. Search it, read about it, and don't allow it to happen in your life.

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donttreadonme 1 year, 3 months ago

People need to realize that the current state govt. does not care about anyone besides their political donors.

If you're not connected to some "privatization" scam, you are on your own.

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chicago95 1 year, 3 months ago

Not a defense -- just some additional facts....

"Many States Cutting TANF Benefits Harshly Despite High Unemployment and Unprecedented Need" http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3498

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autie 1 year, 3 months ago

I would observe that the people making the rules have zero concept of what it is to live in poverty. Let's say one has no car..single mother, two children, subsidized HUD housing. You need to make twenty contacts a week...so after three weeks you have made sixty contacts and no luck. Make it three more weeks of turn down, no job, no offer. All the while struggling to take care of the two kids with what little you have...Mr. Brownback or henchwoman mouth piece Songtag/Jones...where is the hope? Do you understand what these people feel inside when they have lost hope? The best they can hope for is a handout from somebody like CantHaveItBothWays, telling them how worthless and mooching they are. Maybe somebody in Topeka should think about that for day...a Governor who claims to be so pious and is so obviouly without care for his fellows.

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Liberty275 1 year, 3 months ago

Applying for 20 jobs a week is a bit excessive. OTOH, I can send 20 resumes to random companies in about an hour via email. If the system is a scam, just scam better than the system.

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jimmyjms 1 year, 3 months ago

"Yes, we have a few that are actually poor, but the vast majority of who we call poor have cell phones, heat, air conditioning, housing, subsistance, medical, mental, dental, good vehicles, flat screen TV's ..."

Citation, please? Oh, what's that? You're full of it?

3

kippcolorado 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow. The people of Kansas are just dumbed-down stupid these days, aren't they? Your state is now ruined for at least a generation, probably more. And Dolph Simons still rules the Lawrence media. You all have really screwed yourselves. Hope you'll like living in the Mississippi of the Midwest. BTW, the Governor and his oil friends are also fracking your water supplies, so be sure to save up for bottled water. Just throw the bottles in the landfills.

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James Nelson 1 year, 3 months ago

20 a week? That is no step for a stepper. Brownie should make it 100 a week. Now there would be someone who wants a job. How about it governor? Let us get 95% off the TANF rolls.

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Bob Hechlor 1 year, 3 months ago

This is what happens when the people elect someone to lead who chooses ignorance. Brownback continues to have only a couple of real constituents, known as the Koch brothers. It is easy to lead if you only have to please two people and they give you your talking points and your policy directives on a regular basis.

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1 year, 3 months ago

the problem with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" concept makes many assumptions based on an individual's mental and/or physical capability to hold down a 40 hour a week job, assumes reliable transportation for work, and last but not least, affordable & accessible child care, for the mother or father or guardian. this is a 3 legged stool that is extraordinarily difficult to maintain with very limited funds, even with a local support network of friends & family. i know many, many families that struggle to maintain this 3 legged stool that are not in dire straits, but one loss of one of the legs will tip them straight over to poverty quickly.

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Laus_Deo 1 year, 3 months ago

Like it would be sad to see people leave the state that can't get in the produce something, produce anything worthwhile, loop.

Roll Tide

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Armstrong 1 year, 3 months ago

The something for nothing crowd is getting wound up tonight I see

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overthemoon 1 year, 3 months ago

So maybe looking for work someplace other than Kansas would be the ticket. This state is going to h*** in a handbasket, why stay??

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Why pay farm subsidies to multi-millionaires?

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geekin_topekan 1 year, 3 months ago

"because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job."

Has Blowsalot ever hit the bricks pushing a stroller because childcare assistance was cut and daddy's nowhere in sight? How is that a refusal?

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question4u 1 year, 3 months ago

"Brownback said the 38 percent decrease in the number of families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families was because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job."

This isn't a direct quote, so he might not have actually said something that dumb. He can't actually think that changing the number of months for which people living in poverty can receive assistance hasn't decreased the number of people receiving assistance, can he? If it hasn't, then why did his administration make that change in the first place?

It certainly would be wrong for those living below the poverty level to "refuse" to "look for a job," but on the other hand it seems like a pointless exercise if Brownback is right that Kansas lacks jobs. Isn't that why wealthy business owners will now pay no Kansas state income tax? Why should every other worker shoulder the costs of state government for those business owners if there are already so many jobs that no one has any excuse for living below the poverty level? What is the reason for creating more jobs if there are already more than enough to go around?

Flim-Flam Sam is the master at demonstrating that in Kansas government you CAN have it both ways and no one will call you on it.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

Sounds like career moochers are in the cross hairs... no problem with that here.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

I expanded the search under general to include Kansas as a whole. Found 20 companies advertising.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

A quick search of the LJW classifieds showed a grand total of 6 places hiring under general in Lawrence. Would applying at each company 4 time a week count?

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TruthDisguisedAsFiction 1 year, 3 months ago

So Brownback's saying these lazy children need to start looking for some jobs if they want food. That's a pretty modest requirement, right?

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Are there no prisons, are there no poor . . . oh wait, are there no prisons?

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verity 1 year, 3 months ago

Either Brownback is totally delusional or he knows exactly what he's doing.

Brownback/Koch and minions don't want to help the poor, certainly not get them out of poverty. They want us all to be poor---a two-class system.

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Thomas Bryce 1 year, 3 months ago

"The best way to get out of poverty is a job." Except when the available jobs have wages that keep you at or below the Poverty Level.Get Real. Wages have remained stagnant and incomes have declined. You want a true economic Recovery? You "Job Creators"need to Pay your workers better. Want people off the Government Teat? Pay them a wage they can live on with out needing "entitlements".This is a man made crisis completely caused and controlled by the"Job Creators". Problem with the equation is that the ones at the Top would have to do with a little less. And we know that GREED rules them and that will never happen.

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shadowlady 1 year, 3 months ago

It's bad when you are out of work, but gee whiz, even the ones that are fortunate to have a job can't afford squat. When you are paying high rent, the utitities went up, then there's high gas to get back and forth to work,, insurance on your car, groceries, that has gone up, and then there is high day care, and the state says you are making to much money, and they say your making to much money, and here you can't afford to pay a day care or buy groceries. Brownback has cut back so much even on families that is trying to do for their own but need a little help, and there is none available. So I can just imagine the ones that are out of work. It makes me sick to my stomach.

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oletimer 1 year, 3 months ago

20 job searches a week? Gee, maybe brownyback can change the rules for the unemployed to something like that. Think of the savings if those who did not do the proper amount were dropped. he would look like a freakin hero! Bottom line is brownback does not give a crap about anyone under the $150k a year income earners. that is who got him elected.

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srothschild 1 year, 3 months ago

edgla -- I just added some further explanation of that from Angela de Rocha with the Bronwback administration.

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edgla 1 year, 3 months ago

"...requires that people look for 20 jobs a week ..."

20 per WEEK?? Seems a bit excessive....

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