Nov. Forecast: Turn over the surplus to the poor!

Turn over the surplus!
The budget surplus belongs to the poor.
• Raise the welfare grants.
• Give aid to all in need.

On December 4, when the state on Minnesota reveals the November Forecast, we expect to hear that the state of Minnesota has budget surplus of around $900 million. To us, that is not a surprise. Given the years of cuts to programs for the working poor, the unemployed, and disabled people, we have watched the surplus being built on our backs. We have also seen the suffering and desperation these cuts have had on our families and on our communities.

It’s time to use the surplus to help the poorest of the poor in this state.

Current MN law forces over 70,000 kids into “Extreme Poverty”
A family of three on MFIP (welfare for families) gets $532 in cash per month. They get less if they are in a state of “sanction.” They get nothing if the parent has hit her 5-year limit. A disabled person on General Assistance gets $203 per month. A disabled couple on GA gets $260 per month for 2 people. The current state of MN policy puts children into extreme poverty; this has to change.

Welfare grants have not been increased since 1986.
It has been 28 years since the state on MN increased the General Assistance or the MN Family Investment Plan cash grants. The cost of living has more than doubled since 1986. The state of MN should double the GA and MFIP grants.

Lots of people can’t get any help at all
Many people who have literally no income do not qualify for any cash assistance at all. Zilch. There is no program for childless people whose unemployment has run out. Many families with kids have hit the 5-year limit on welfare. Most working class families who fall on hard times are shocked at how poor a person has to be to qualify for help. We are told to cash out our 401Ks, sell the car (that we need to find and keep a job), and sell off our possessions, get an eviction or utility shut-off notice before we can get anything.

People are suffering hour to hour because of the current system. Federal, state, counties and the non-profits are bungling their jobs. Just give people enough to pay for rent and basic needs and see many problems in our communities and schools get resolved.

— Double the Welfare Grants!
— Give Aid to All in Need!

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