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Missouri Legislature passes 15-month cut to welfare benefits

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Lawmakers have passed legislation that would cut the amount of time Missourians can receive welfare benefits.

The House on Thursday voted 111-36 in favor of the bill, the final vote needed to send the legislation to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill would cap the lifetime limit on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits from five years to three years and nine months.

Other changes include added intervention if parents don’t meet work requirements, with the threat of losing family benefits if they don’t come into compliance.

Supporters say it could encourage parents to be self-sufficient, while opponents say it could hurt families and children in need.

The Department of Social Services estimates the lifetime benefits cut will mean about 3,100 low-income families lose monthly cash assistance next January.