LANSING (WWJ) – Thousands of Michigan families are dreading a new law that goes into effect Saturday — the four-year lifetime limit on cash welfare benefits.
About 41,000 people will lose their cash assistance. About 30,000 of those people are children.
Judy Putnam, with the Michigan League for Human Services says, unfortunately, most of these people don’t have too many options.
“We’ve been hearing from people. I talked to a family today, and I talked to a family yesterday, they’re packing up their stuff and moving their kids because they can no longer pay their rent,” Putnam said.
Putman said she’s heard from a couple of families who say they will be forced to leave the state.
“We do feel that victims of this recession are being punished. This is a time when we have such high unemployment that we should be looking to help families … and instead we’re punishing them,” she said.
The new policy also comes as census data show that one in every four children in Michigan, 23.5 percent, is living in poverty.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson was in Detroit, Thursday, calling on Governor Rick Snyder to repeal the new law.
“On the one hand,we fight for a better school system, but children who are malnourished and need reading glasses, who need hearing assistance, who need dental care, will not do well in school,” Jackson said.
“Those whose homes don’t have heat will not do well in school. When their parents are choosing between food and medicine they will not do well,” he said. “These children will be less able to get medical care, less likely to go to school, less likely to graduate.”
Another protest is scheduled for Friday at Noon in front of the governor’s Detroit office, on West Grand Boulevard in the New Center area.
Another policy that goes into effect this Saturday is a $5,000 limit on assets for the Food Assistance Program. Putnam said a coalition of groups are calling for Governor Rick Snyder to reverse the policy.