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Williamson eyes budget changes "DEMS rob poor people"
The Southern Illinoisan ^ | 11/08/2012 | Scott Fitzgerald

Posted on 11/08/2012 9:33:25 AM PST by vitaman

MARION — Williamson County board members are eyeing changes in the general assistance program to compliment a proposed reduction of county funding for the 2013 fiscal year, which begins Dec. 1.

During a budget work session Wednesday, commissioners reviewed new eligibility guidelines with a budget line item reduction from $120,000 to $60,000.

“General assistance has been around a long time. When I came here in 2004, it was $175,000 annually. We had 20 to 40 people on average. This year, it jumped to 77 people. It’s become an open line item. The state gives us nothing,” said county Board Chairman Brent Gentry as discussion began.

Board members began reviewing case files in October to determine if new eligibility criteria to determine who could rightfully qualify for financial assistance to meet living and medical costs and for how long.

A new guideline sheet distributed by Commissioner Ron Ellis requires validation of residency in Williamson County, income statements and other documentation to show a need for assistance. There is also mandatory drug testing.

The board also consensually agreed to an assistance period of six months and proof that recipients are pursuing means to support themselves such as looking for work.

There were several points of discussion on how to implement the proposed $150 to $200 monthly stipend to cover living, medical and limited medical prescription costs.

Commissioner Ron Ellis said he favors a voucher system to pay for utility and limited prescription-drug expenses.

With the new eligibility guidelines, the list of 77 people currently getting assistance would be reduced to about 35.

The county’s general assistance director, Cathy Motsinger, said with changes beginning Dec. 1, there is a likelihood 40 to 50 people currently on the county program could go homeless.

“We know we have to make a change. We’re running out of time. We know we’re not going to please everyone,” Gentry said about the proposed that would be incorporated into a tentative budget expected to be voted on Friday.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Illinois
KEYWORDS: generalassistance
It looks like the budget is finally getting to Illinois.
1 posted on 11/08/2012 9:33:31 AM PST by vitaman
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To: vitaman

They apparently want to limit this to six months which I think is a great idea. Everybody gets into an occasional bind and can need a little boost.

Another idea. Pay the first month at 100% of the benefit. Then, each month there after, reduce the benefit by 1/6 of the full benefit.

As giving people 99 weeks of taxpayer-funded unemployment benefits has shown, lots of folks will sit on their ass. If the benefit is being reduced by a set amount each month, and doesn’t run for very long, perhaps that will serve as a kick in the ass.

2 posted on 11/08/2012 10:07:14 AM PST by upchuck (We are not finished yet. But when nobama chooses some more SCOTUS judges, we will be. For ever.)
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To: vitaman

Come on, it’s Illinois.

Nothing real will happen.

Until we just build a wall around them and all the rest of the corrupt (e.g. - blue) states.

And watch ‘em starve and kill each other.

3 posted on 11/08/2012 10:39:55 AM PST by Da Coyote
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