Bill for stricter Minnesota welfare rules stalls

Published On: Feb 14 2012 01:04:41 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 14 2012 01:05:05 PM CST

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A bill that would have doubled the waiting period to qualify for welfare benefits in Minnesota has stalled in the state Senate.

The Republican sponsor agreed to put his legislation on hold after hearing concerns about its legality and potential consequences.

Sen. Paul Gazelka's bill would have set a 60-day residency requirement before someone could access welfare assistance, up from 30 days now.

It also would have required that debit-style benefit cards include a recipient's photograph. He argued the measures would save money by cutting down on fraud and discouraging people of moving to the state primarily to access welfare benefits.

Advocates of welfare recipients said concerns over migration were unfounded. They also pointed to court cases that found some waiting limits to be unconstitutional because of hardships caused.