New Kansas governor wants to roll back cash assistance rules

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly wants Kansas lawmakers to roll back a work requirement and other rules for cash assistance recipients.

But new House Majority Leader and Wichita Republican Dan Hawkins said Tuesday that the idea is going to be difficult to sell to the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Kelly has long been a critic of the tougher rules imposed during former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's administration. GOP lawmakers put Brownback's policies into state law in 2015 to make them harder to undo and tightened them in 2016.

The rules include not only a work requirement for able-bodied adults but a lifetime limit on benefits of no more than 36 months.

Kelly argues that the rules hurt poor families. Hawkins argues that the state is encouraging cash assistance recipients to become self-sufficient.

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