Social Safety Net

Kansas Backs Off From New Welfare Rules

Following a stern warning from federal officials that Kansas was poised to violate federal law by placing a $25 cap on withdrawals for welfare recipients, state officials have chosen to back away from the cap.

State officials would have done so from the beginning, however, and all you need to understand the situation is this quote:

In a release Tuesday, [Department for Children and Families] head Phyllis Gilmore welcomed that advice and chastised lawmakers for ignoring her prior criticism of the withdrawal limits.

This agency did not propose the $25 cash assistance withdrawal limit,” Gilmore said. “This was an amendment offered during legislative debate. At the time of discussion on the floor, DCF advised against such a low limit. I’m pleased that we now have the guidance needed to rescind this measure.”

In other words, the state legislature ignored the state Department for Children and Families and passed the law in spite of overwhelming evidence that it was a bad idea.

Pompous legislators know better than the department officials whose job is managing the program, right? Apparently not.

State department officials are only allowed to rescind the new restrictions because the federal government advised them to. It's possible the restrictions would have remained in place under a Republican presidential administration.