Community Service Proposed in Exchange for Welfare

Two Mississippi state senators have introduced a bill to require people who receive public assistance to perform community service.

The measure was co-authored by Sen Nancy Collins of Tupelo and Sen. John Polk of Hattiesburg.

The bill requires that any able bodied recipient of public assistance, in the form of transfer payments, Medicaid, or housing, would be required to perform a minimum of 20 hours per week of community service to a non-profit organization in Mississippi.

"Public assistance many times can become a dead end and not a temporary condition. By helping others, you help yourself," said Collins. "I know of no better way than to be involved in community service and volunteerism."

"Public assistance is designed for those who are experiencing difficult times of a temporary nature. It is not meant to become a permanent way of life for anyone, said Polk.

The community service could be done at churches, if the participant and church both agree, but it could not be the recipient’s own church under the bill.

For the bill to become law, it would have to pass both the House and Senate, and not be vetoed by the governor.

This and other similar bills face a Mar. 6 deadline for passage through its assigned committee.


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  • by nurse Location: ms on Jan 27, 2012 at 09:27 PM
    I get drug tested, randomly, to be able to work as do most people in the work force now! So why can't we drug test those who are receiving benefits from the hours we work? I don't fret about my drug test because I know what the results will be.
  • by Elizabeth Location: alabama on Jan 27, 2012 at 09:18 PM
    Last year I was in a grocery store(I work everyday) and saw a very young looking woman talking with the cashier in the next lane. She had 4 buggies piled as high as possible. The cashier called her by name and I overheard the woman say she had 7 kids (she didn't look to be older than maybe 22ish). I glanced at the register and saw 900.00 (rounded off) and they still had 1 buggy to scan. Guess how she was paying????? Yep, you guessed it, a nice little plastic food stamp card. I was thoroughly disgusted. I work my but off and have to search for sales to find the best price to even buy groceries. I promise you, her family ate a whole lot better than mine!!! Go MISSISSIPPI!!!! I hope all the states pass this. I hear all the time about people trading food stamps for money and it ain't to buy necessities!!!! I am not against people who legitimately need assistance. It is people such as I have spoken about above that I am against. It would be cheaper to provide birth control or tubals! And the Bible doesn't tell us to take care of the shiftless, lazy people. It tells us to help the widows, sick, disabled, can't help themselves people!
  • by Dawn on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:46 PM
    The #1 problem is the government allowing the people to take advantage of the system. I don't care what kind of human rights there are, if you can't take care of your kids then the government should limit how many kids you have. That's exactly why China is soon going to take over the world, they don't allow for all of this nonsense...
  • by Jeff Location: Houston, TX on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:41 AM
    Great idea. Tired of giving handouts to those who don't appreciate it and who believe breeding welfare babies is a full time job. Don't have kids if you can't afford them and don't sit on the sofa waiting for life's oppurtunities to come to you. I hope Texas adopts this.
  • by Kellie on Jan 25, 2012 at 08:23 PM
    I think it is a great idea for those who receive assistance and put forth no attempt to provide for their families by any other means than economic assistance; however, how will this effect those working 40 hour jobs and receiving the minimal assistance and just barely staying afloat already?
  • by Shontrelle Location: Meridian on Jan 25, 2012 at 10:20 AM
    Drug Test these people and Make them WORK for the money just let every body else!!! There are plenty of things that can be done... picking up trash on the roadside would be a good start
  • by Pam Location: Neshoba County on Jan 25, 2012 at 08:19 AM
    Mr Andrew,it says right at the beginning, able bodied ppl. They aren't talking sick or disabled.They will of course have to be disabled sick though I am sure. I am disabled myself but know they arent talking about me. Too many people with excuses to sit on their butts healthy as horses.While your story was so sad for your grandfather, it doesn't fit into this discussion at all. They wouldnt have made your elderly grandfather work.20 hrs a week is not all that much time. People have to quit relying on government as a way of life. At any time our own can go into bankruptcy then what? There is a long list of healthy people getting funds. I doubt there is enough community service (which should be a priviledge not a punishment anyway) for all the people who get assistance. If they are good people they will be glad to give back with their time...plus that would look awesome on a job application.
    • reply
      by honestly on Jan 28, 2012 at 08:58 AM in reply to Pam
      I think EVERYONE getting assistance should be drug tested and provided an opertunity to assist the community and state that's providing for them! Even the majority of disabled people can help in some way, there are community service assistance areas that need people answering phones, watching children, sorting and folding laundry! Disabled does NOT mean helpless or unable to provide community service. I don't know you, but I'm sure you'll agree you are able to do more then some people would like to think, and I hope you'd be proud to give back to the community in some fashion.
  • by just sayin.... on Jan 25, 2012 at 06:14 AM
    To the people posting on here that really need assistance, no one is talking about you. It is the lazy, good for nothings that lie,and cheat, to beat the system to get assistance. The programs were established to assist people like you, not to make it a lifestyle for the do nothings. It is easier to have a baby,(for us hard working, honest people to take care of)than to go out and get a job. Most babies are born to get a raise in the welfare checks, not because they are wanted. Add to that the free school meal programs, subsidised rent and utilities and you are having a pretty good living. The assistance program was meant to be used, not abused.
  • by john miller on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:26 PM
    It really seems some dont understand able bodied. thats the worthless ones scaming. God didnt promis anyone a rose garden. I too have had my own trouble with a accident that left me stevie wonder blind in both eyes for 4 months and after gaining limited sight in one eye for the rest of a year. i could not get any help from nobody and worked all my life. a state worker told me " i was the wrong color in the wrong state". when the vision came back to were i could work , I went back to work, still blind in one eye. But keep working millions of people on welfar depend on you.
  • by john miller on Jan 24, 2012 at 09:07 PM
    I just love it . its about time. I can just hear the whinning now. stupid liberal loons will be coming to defend them saying those poor people cant work. i think they should be doing at least 40 hour of service if they are not going to school. And if they have a child and go on welfare for their irresponsible choice they need to get their tubes tied
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