UPDATES 6/21: As expected, the welfare “reform” package passed today, with only two Senators voting against, Sen. Chang-Diaz and Sen. Eldridge. This is a disappointment, but no less so because we expected it.
We were tracking amendment 54, which would have taken out the photo requirement on EBT cards.
That amendment also failed. Only 10 Senators rose to the moment and voted “yes.”
Original Post 6/20:
We’re live-tweeting the debate under the #AssaultonPoor hashtag!
We know this is a busy time for engaged activists like you, with Ed Markey’s election only days away. But alarming things are happening at the State House that you will want to know about — we need you — and the poor, elderly and disabled of the Commonwealth need you.
Today the Senate will be voting on a “welfare reform” bill that will add more humiliation to being poor, restrict exemptions to the work requirement while spending millions of taxpayer dollars on photo IDs for EBT cards that serves no legitimate public purpose. Check out the facts.
At the same time, the bill takes only limited steps to help poor families learn skills or build assets that will lead to an improved standard of living, the only fair and proven way to lift people out of poverty and reduce taxpayer expenditure.
We join other advocates in focusing most of our efforts on striking the photo ID requirement. This provision is opposed by AARP, ACLU and every other group that works with the poor. Even Mitt Romney abandoned it because it was too costly and did nothing to reduce fraud.
Unfortunately, Leadership wants this bill, and that means we have no hope of stopping it. But we have many friends in the Senate trying to improve it.
PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR AND SAY YOU SUPPORT AMENDMENT 54 (sends the photo ID requirement to “study”).