The state Senate has overriden Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) veto of a bill that would shorten the length of time needy parents can receive temporary welfare. The bill would change the limit 60 months to 45 in a lifetime for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
After almost four hours of discussion, Senators voted 25-9 along party lines in favor of the override.
Bill Sponsor David Sater (R-Cassville) says more parents need to meet the working requirements of the program in order for the state to not lose the federal dollars that the program distributes.
“Unless we change the way the state is doing business right now, the federal government will take away all of that money,” said Sater.
Senator Jamillah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) said she doesn’t buy that argument.
“I truly believe that’s like a spook behind the door. If we don’t do this, this is what’s going to happen,” said Nasheed. “You know, I don’t believe any of that.”
Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) said the Republican effort to get people on assistance back to work will hurt families who really need help.
“I don’t think anyone’s goal when they wake up in the morning is to say, ‘Let me figure out how I can go and get on TANF,’” said Curls.
It’s now up to the House to try to complete the veto override. House Republican leaders believe they have enough votes to overturn the veto.