Attempt To Restrict Use Of Welfare Benefits Stalls

Apr 28, 2016

Arkansas State Capitol building.
Credit Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

An attempt in Arkansas to limit how welfare recipients can spend their benefits has stalled before a legislative panel. The Joint Budget Committee voted 24-14 Thursday in favor of the proposal by Republican Rep. Jim Dotson to seek a federal waiver for the new limits on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients.

The proposal needed at least 29 votes to advance. Dotson's proposal called for limiting the use of TANF benefits to food, clothing, housing, utilities child care and incidentals. It also called on the state to seek a restriction on using TANF benefit cards to withdraw cash.

Dotson said he may seek another vote on the proposal before this year's session ends. Several Democrats on the panel questioned the need for the restrictions.