New Kansas Bill May Eliminate $25-A-Day ATM Withdrawal Cap For Welfare Recipients

| by Nathaly Pesantez

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that enables the state to raise or lower the ATM cash withdrawal limit for welfare recipients. 

The bill is in response to a controversial bill signed in April that sets ATM withdrawals to $25 a day for those receiving welfare. 

With the new bill, the secretary for the Department of Children and Families is authorized to alter the ATM withdrawal cap. The cash limit needs to fall in a range that ensures the state is not interfering with federal law. 

The previous bill, HB 2258, was speculated to cost Kansas around $102 million, according to McClatchy. Federal law requires welfare recipients with cash assistance cards to withdraw money “with minimal fees or charges,” but HB 2258 might have compromised Kansas’ chances at observing this law. 

HB 2258 also prohibits those receiving cash assistance to use the funds at movie theaters, swimming pools, theme parks and cruise ships, among other restricted uses. These measures, according to The Christian Science Monitor, further propagate stereotypes that the poor do not manage money well, and are meant to punish families for “innocent entertainment.”

Others say the provisions ensure benefits are not exchanged for cash. 

“This is serious, good policy for the state of Kansas,” said Kansas Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady, reports The Christian Science Monitor. “There’s nothing better to get these people back on their feet than getting them a job and getting them back to work.”

The newly signed bill, HB 2281, addresses the $25-a-day ATM withdrawal limit from HB 2258, but no other measures from that bill. 

Sources: HB 2281, HB 2258, McClatchy, The Christian Science Monitor
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