For Immediate Release:
May 5, 2015


General Assembly Overrides Governor’s Veto to Modernize Missouri’s Welfare System

Bill Will Provide a Structure to Get People Back To Work

JEFFERSON CITY— The General Assembly successfully overrode the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 24 today (5-5). The bill will strengthen the state’s effort to fight poverty and modernize the welfare program.

Senate Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, said the Legislature has taken a proactive approach to reform our welfare system and created a path to help Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients find employment.

“We are not cutting welfare; we are restructuring the system and reinvesting the savings in incentives such as child care, job training and transportation services to get people back into the workforce,” said Dempsey. “Senate Bill 24 will strengthen our efforts to fight poverty in our state.”

Bill sponsor Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, said the governor’s concerns were misplaced.

“We currently have a broken system that discourages work and needlessly creates welfare dependency,” said Sater. “Missouri is not the first state to go in this direction, but we are unique because we are reinvesting the money we save into resources to improve work participation and empower more Missourians to become employed and independent.

Missouri has failed to implement many of the reform policies adopted by other states, and as a result, ranks dead last in welfare reform policies. Missouri also has the lowest work participation rate for individuals on welfare in the country. Senate Bill 24 will create a new structure that will help people find employment and improve work participation.

Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said our current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work.

“We want to strengthen personal accountability in welfare policies to help people become independent,” said Richard. “These changes will give us more flexibility when addressing the challenges TANF recipients face. This measure was one of our main priorities this session, and I’m happy we worked through our differences to get it across the finish line.”

Some of the provisions of the bill go into effect on Aug. 28, 2015. Others go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. For more on this legislation and others, go to

Lauren Hieger, Senate Majority Caucus Communications Director
(573) 751-7266 –