NH Council of Churches - Policy Alert: Protect TANF

The NH House Finance Committee next week will hear a bill that would limit financial assistance for poor families who have additional children while receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). 

 
This is a morality question. What happens when a family depending on TANF to get by has an infant who needs things that WIC or food stamps can't buy - bottles, pacifiers, diapers, crib sheets, car seat - but can't receive any additional TANF cash assistance to accommodate the infant's needs? Either the other children do without - Toothpaste and toilet paper? Heat? A home? Or the baby does without?  
 
According to the Fiscal Note on this bill, this law would affect fewer than 75 poor families a year in NH, who each receive an average of $72.50 a month in additional cash assistance when a newborn arrives. Implementing this law would cost the state $200,000 initially in systems eligibility adjustments. From there, the assumption is local welfare would take up the slack and filling the gaps. The problem hasn't been eliminated, the cost of meeting it just shifts to local property tax payers.  
 
If we can't find $72.50 a month for 75 poor families in 2012 to ensure their infants and children are safe, healthy, nourished and housed, it will say a lot about the state we have become.

 

House Finance Committee Members legislative email: <~HouseFinanceCommittee@leg.state.nh.us>

Individual Members (with links to contact info) at:

Full text at:

HB1658-FN
Session Year 2012
Bill Title: limiting financial assistance for mothers who have additional children while receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).
Public Hearing: HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE, 01/12/2012 at 10:00 AM, Legislative Office Building, Rooms 210-211