Today, two laws redefining Michigan's welfare system go into effect. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that places a 48-month lifetime welfare cap for recipients. This means that a person who signs up for welfare can receive benefits for four years, period. It can be consecutive or off and on. Once the 48 months are up, that's it.

Sadly, those who have been on welfare for 48 months or longer are getting kicked off of welfare...today. Governor Snyder is trying to restore cash assistance to what it is originally intended for, temporary assistance. He feels that people are getting too complacent with their benefits and not trying hard enough to stand on their own feet.

As each day goes by, a new set of people will be kicked off of welfare. It's expected that roughly 41,000 adults and 30,000 children are expected to lose benefits today alone.

Of course there will be some exemptions. Those who have a disability and can't work will receive and extension (to the limit, which is not specified), those caring for a disabled child or spouse, and those over 65 who don't qualify for Social Security benefits.

Governor Snyder also signed a bill that will terminate a recipient's cash benefits if their child is truant in school. Children up to the age of 15 will be considered truant if he or she has 10 or more unexcused absences a year.

Some feel that this is a bit harsh and that some type of notice should be sent out before the actual termination. I'm here to tell those folks that if you don't know if your child has missed 10 or more days of school, then something is severely wrong with you.

There are progress reports and report cards that have the attendance for that period on it. Oh, and you can call or visit your child's teachers too. So if a letter informing you of the cancellation of your welfare is what you need, then that's really too bad. Besides, wouldn't it already be too late?

According to Snyder, this is an attempt to add responsibility and accountability to welfare recipients. Adding a stipulation such as this should be an incentive to those receiving benefits to make sure their children go to school, as if that wasn't something that should already be done. It should also help the recipient to appreciate their assistance.

What do you think? Is Governor Snyder too harsh with his welfare reform? What about kicking parents off of welfare if their children are truant? What about the 48-month lifetime cap? Is he a genius for saving the state $60 million a year with this one program alone?

About the Writer

Ed "Mr. Chap" Chapman is the warden of the Insane Asylum Blog and contributor to www.dangerouslee.biz.