Minnesota’s Republican lawmakers are, as expected, very angry about poor people. Why give those poor people money when we know they’ll just spend it on the hip-hop and fancy sneakers and for crack smokin’. So, the Republicans had an idea: Until any kind of welfare or assistance to the needy is completely outlawed, which will be soon enough, Minnesota should make it illegal for people getting “emergency cash assistance” to have any of the cash assistance in cash.
So, the poorest families and the poorest disabled adults would be unable to take any of this money as cash, even though poor people by design are kept from having bank accounts or a checkbook, which is why they usually pay bills and rent in cash:
St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.
On March 15, Angel Buechner of the Welfare Rights Committee testified in front of the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee on House File 171. Buechner told committee members, “We would like to address the provision that makes it illegal for MFIP [one of Minnesota’s welfare programs] families to withdraw cash from the cash portion of the MFIP grant – and in fact, appears to make it illegal for MFIP families to have any type of money at all in their pockets. How do you expect people to take care of business like paying bills such as lights, gas, water, trash and phone?”
House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP – and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid – could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.