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Work Over Welfare: The Inside Story Of The 1996 Welfare Reform Law

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Work over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law

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Reviewers for Volume Almost 19 years later, Kasich is far from settling into his rocking chair to gloat over the success of welfare reform. In fact, he's still jousting at a similar target. As Ohio's governor, he's releasing a new budget next week with a major welfare-to-work initiative.

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Just as he did in the House of Representatives, Kasich says his plan will try to ensure that welfare provides short-term help on the way to self-sufficiency. Dependency over the long-term is bad for individuals. Read on, or if you wish, skip ahead to any of the sections below: The heart of Kasich's bill Warnings from the opposition Did the reforms work? The heart of Kasich's bill: block grants to the states.

The welfare reform bill sponsored by Kasich - called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of - synthesized ideas by many different committees into a comprehensive package. As House Budget Committee chairman, Kasich set savings targets the other committees had to meet and pulled together their work.

Republicans who formulated the bill believed the federal government spent too much money on ineffective programs that encouraged people to make poor choices that trapped them in dependency by giving them no incentives to work. When it was passed, it was billed as the most sweeping change in federal social policy since the"New Deal" passed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Most families are allowed to receive TANF for a total of five years, though states can let 20 percent of beneficiaries exceed that limit if serious long-term problems keep them from working.

You cannot be on welfare forever. If you are down and out, if you are down on your luck, if you need some help, If your kids are sick, if you are sick, we are going to help you. But at some point, in fairness to all those people, frankly, who are in this building today, who get up and go to work and pay their taxes, this is what they want. They want the time limits. They want the work requirements. And they want people to go to work. The idea for converting AFDC into a block grant program derived from a idea by Kasich's committee that would have converted food stamps into a state block grant program.

The food stamp idea didn't pan out because the House Agriculture Committee found other ways to save money. Instead, other programs were transformed into block grants. Clay Shaw, Jr.

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Kasich left an imprint on the food stamp program through an amendment he offered with former Rep. Bob Ney, a Republican from St. Clairsville, that requires able-bodied single people to work 20 hours each week to qualify for food stamps if they are between aged 18 to