Tags: arizona | welfare | limits | poor | budget | deficit

Arizona Slashes Lifetime Welfare Benefits to Ease $1B Deficit

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 07:46 AM

Arizona's decision to cut the lifetime limit for welfare recipients came as lawmakers had to "make tough choices" to slash a $1 billion deficit, State Sen. Kelli Ward said Wednesday.

"Arizona is constitutionally required to balance our budget," the Republican lawmaker, a key proponent of the cuts, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "We had to make a lot of cuts to a lot of different programs, and this is one of those that was on the table."

According to The Associated Press, the Arizona's GOP-led legislature's action has reduced welfare recipients' lifetime limit to the shortest time in the nation, with low-income families to have their benefits cut after just 12 months.

This means at least 1,600 families, including 2,700 children, will be dropped from the state's federally funded welfare rolls on July 1, 2016, cutting expenses by at least $4 million from Arizona's budget.

Ward said Wednesday that people who are truly "having a hardship," such as those taking care of a disabled relative or foster children, will be able to apply to remain on the program.

But Ward said that she hopes the federal government looks at Arizona's strategy and "tries to get things under control."

The cuts in Arizona aren't popular, she said, but they are necessary.

"We have to build up our firm foundation so we can be proactive," she said, and developing the economy and jobs are "necessary so people can get off of welfare and get into the freedom of employment."

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Arizona's decision to cut the lifetime limit for welfare recipients came as lawmakers had to "make tough choices" to slash a $1 billion deficit, State Sen. Kelli Ward said Wednesday.
arizona, welfare, limits, poor, budget, deficit
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2015-46-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 07:46 AM
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