Brewer Agrees To Allocate State Dollars To Cover Funding Shortfalls For TANF Families

October 08, 2013

Facing a wave of negative publicity and mounting political pressure, Governor Jan Brewer late Monday agreed to put up $650,000 state dollars to cover welfare payments for some needy families.

Arizona is one of only 11 states that totally fund the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program with federal money. It had enough cash on hand when the shutdown hit to cover about 13,000 families, but that left about 3,200 others out.

Representative Debbie McCune-Davis says that left Arizona as the only state that failed to front the money, despite federal promises of reimbursement.

“This is what we wanted,” McCune-Davis said. “It was embarrassing for Arizona to be the only state in the nation that wasn't stepping in with state dollars to cover the shortfall for TANF families.”

While Brewer’s decision temporarily solves the problem, Senator Leah Landrum-Taylor says the state really needs to tap into the rainy day fund to have the money needed, should the government shutdown continue. The governor’s office refused to comment on that request. 

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