Democratic lawmakers hope their bills to restore cuts to a needy families’ program will be heard in the legislature. The House and Senate bills expand the program for temporary cash payments to its original two year limit, up from the 12 months the Republican majority O.K.’d last year. Senate

Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs says the fate of 1,600 families, including 2,700 children hang in the balance. “Reducing these benefits will not help struggling families get out of poverty,” says Hobbs. “It will only cause them to struggle more.

Democrats say restoring TANF would cost the state only three and a half to four million dollars. They add, we have enough money in the state coffers to finance it without breaking the bank.

Monthly TANF payments average 200-dollars per family.

–Barbara Villa