Missouri GOP lawmakers use numbers to cut social safety net
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri's Republican-controlled Legislature has used overwhelming numbers to push through cuts to the state social safety net despite Democratic opposition.
GOP lawmakers this session succeeded in reducing the number of weeks in available jobless and welfare benefits. Supporters say that could spur Missourians to be more self-sufficient and more quickly find work.
Republicans also say a right-to-work measure that passed last week could encourage businesses to open in the state and might mean more jobs.
But Democrats have slammed those bills as hurting low-income families and the middle class.
Democratic Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis described work by the GOP this legislative session as an "all-out attack on the poor."
Efforts by Democrats this session to expand eligibility for Medicaid health care for low-income adults also failed.