Rutledge Urges Welfare Cap Proponents to Help Struggling Families

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

LANSING - State Representative David E. Rutledge (Ypsilanti) today responded to the announcement that Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a lifetime limit on cash assistance benefits, which will affect thousands of families throughout Michigan. The bill was signed into law yesterday, and the limit takes effect on Oct. 1 of this year.

“It is certainly no secret that I believe this change runs counter to the best interest of families with children in our community, and in our state as a whole,” Rutledge said. “Particularly given the fact that Michigan is still recovering from an economic crisis, and statewide employment is stagnant, my fear is that this limit will only hurt those families already struggling to make ends meet.”

Rutledge praised the Michigan Department of Human Services for establishing the Michigan Job Navigator Program, which is intended to help those whose assistance will end in October. The program will match individuals affected by the new limit with “Job Navigators,” who will serve as mentors and assist with job searches and other transitional issues.

“I strongly urge community members to consider signing up for the Job Navigator Program, to be part of the solution for the estimated 600-900 families in Washtenaw County who will lose their assistance next month,” said Rutledge. “Supporters of the lifetime limit have argued throughout this process that recipients are simply not trying hard enough. I challenge every person who has advocated for this limit to participate in the Job Navigator Program and provide support to those in our community who need help.” Rutledge registered to volunteer as a Job Navigator earlier this week.

Residents interested in learning about food assistance and other support programs available in the Ypsilanti community are encouraged to contact Rep. Rutledge toll-free at (855) 347-8054 or by email at davidrutledge@house.mi.gov. More information about the Job Navigator Program is available at: www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,4562,7-124-5453_59085-261589—,00.html.