State lawmakers are moving forward with a pair of new bills which would affect Michigan residents that collect public assistance such as food stamps.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg, said the legislation passed Wednesday would help ensure public assistance recipients are giving back to their communities.
Senate Bill 276 which was introduced by Hune was originally SB 905 last fall.
"People benefiting from public assistance should do something to give back to the community that is providing them with a helping hand, and that is exactly what my bill does," said Hune. "There is nothing wrong with having folks have a little skin in the game. I am glad that this common sense reform passed out of the Senate."
SB 276 would require cash assistance recipients who are not exempt from the Partnership Accountability Training Hope (PATH) program to participate in community service.
The legislation is drawing both praise and criticism, with more than 700 people commenting on it at WNEM.com's Facebook page.
Some comments include:
John Igaz: It depends on the situation and the disability though if they have a serious problem they should be exempt but if they just drawing to defraud the govt I agree.
Patti K DuBay Community service is a great idea. Children at the age of 16 should also do it too.
Denise Hall Drug testing I'm all for but community service? Our kids need to do community service to graduate these days and finding enough places looking for volunteers is hard enough. Imagine the flood of people trying to find volunteer work if it was tied to benefits! I also see the potential for people to be used as volunteers to replace paid employees. I think this is another attempt that "sounds" good but is not being thought through.
Barbara Ferguson Community service is for those with a fine to pay for breaking the law, these people have just come across hard times, need a bit of help, and you want to punish them for it? On the other hand, if those single Moms could get the deadbeat Dads to own up to their responsibilities you wouldn't have so many on your welfare roads, I personally think you're going after the wrong crowd.
Stay with WNEM.com and TV5 as we continue to follow this story.
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