Cutting social services priority for Missouri GOP lawmakers -

Cutting social services priority for Missouri GOP lawmakers

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's GOP-controlled Legislature is using its clout to push for limits to the state's social safety net.

Proposals nearing the end of the legislative process include a measure to tie the amount of time available for individuals to receive unemployment benefits to the state unemployment rate. Instead of the current 20 weeks, people could receive as little as 13 weeks of benefits.

Another bill would cut how long low-income families can receive monthly assistance.

A Senate budget proposal also would reduce funding for the social services, health and mental health departments.

Some Republicans say those agencies are wasteful, and resources instead should go to programs designed to help welfare recipients find a job or get a better job.

Democrats say the proposals could harm the state's most vulnerable residents.

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