Friday, February 19, 2010

The Governor Needs a Heart

Over the years, I have continually seen Governor Tim Pawlenty cut funds to social services. He only cares about balancing his budget, and nothing about the people who have to live with it (or in this case, without). First there was the battle with cutting people off of health insurance, who have no other way of having health care. Then he decided to cut emergency assistance. Now he has decided that General Assistance should also be cut. In an MPR article it states:

Advocates for the homeless warn that thousands of the state's poorest residents could lose their only source of income under the new budget proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

The governor's budget would eliminate General Assistance, the program that provides $203 a month in cash assistance to low-income single adults who are unable to work, and replace it with a less expensive crisis assistance program.

General Assistance served about 19,000 people each month in the last fiscal year, and is the only source of income for many homeless adults.

"It's a devastating cut," said Liz Kuoppala, executive director of Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless. "These are folks who are waiting in line for federal disability. They don't have access to any other money."

Welfare recipient Virginia Weldon participated in the health insurance protests, and has spoken at legislative hearings about welfare reform. Still, she said, the elimination of the monthly cash program, General Assistance, was something she never expected.

"Why would you just all of a sudden want to take GA away?" she said. "People need money to survive."

State Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, who chairs the Health, Housing and Family Security committee, said the governor could make other cuts to fix the state's deficit.

"It's an attempt to make the poorest and the sickest people pay the brunt of the economic problem," said Marty, who is also candidate for governor. "He's not going to talk about any taxes on people who make large amounts of money. Instead, he's going to, in effect, take people who are very sick and very poor and step on them a little further."

Many people in Minnesota laugh at Pawlenty's lack of charisma and find his bid for a future presidency laughable. But, the way he treats the residents of his own state, and repeatedly takes from people that have nothing, I'm much more concerned about his obvious lack of heart.

1 comment:

Strong said...

Gov. Whitebread, as I like to call Pawlenty, has no heart. That's his whole problem: he has nothing but callous, uncaring emptiness and blind ambition. And he thinks he can be President--HAH!