TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials say a review of the state’s new welfare law shows it doesn’t conflict with federal rules governing state child care programs.
“We do not believe there’s a conflict, and federal officials have not indicated there’s a problem,” said Sandra Kimmons, economic and employment services director of the Kansas Department for Children and Families.
The issue arose after a child advocacy group raised concerns that several aspects of the new welfare reform law could collide with federal rules, jeopardizing more than $40 million a year in federal funds, The Kansas City Star reported. The law, called the HOPE Act, was approved by the Legislature last session.
Despite the comments from state officials, President and CEO Shannon Cotsoradis of Kansas Action for Children said that parts of the state’s welfare law could conflict with federal rules that eligible children receive continuous subsidies for a 12-month period. Costoradis maintains there could be a problem with certain state work requirements for parents and subsidy cutoffs for noncompliance with federal guidelines that would take effect next year.
“This isn’t about demonizing the HOPE Act,” Cotsoradis said. “We raised a red flag. We’re hopeful the agency would carefully scrutinize the HOPE Act to ensure there are no surprises for Kansas families and children.”
The state recently dropped a feature of the HOPE Act, a $25-a-day limit on ATM withdrawals for those with cash assistance, due to federal officials’ objections.
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