Kansas lawmakers are once again considering weakening the Kansas safety net, and your voice is critical to advocate for Kansans in need. Senate Bill 372, the "HOPE Act", will make it even more difficult to access safety net supports like cash assistance, food assistance, and child care assistance. This bill has been "bundled" together with other legislation in a conference committee report for House Substitute for Senate Bill 402. This will be voted on by the Kansas House, probably tomorrow morning. You can read articles about the bill here and here, KIFA's testimony against a similar bill here, and the bill itself here.
We encourage our supporters to contact their legislators TODAY to vote against this bill. You can figure out who your legislator is by clicking here and entering your home address. Click their name to get their email and office phone number. We're focusing on your Representatives. This proposal is moving quickly, so please act now.
Here is a sample message that you can personalize:
Subject: Protect Kansans in Need
I am a supporter of Kansas Interfaith Action, a statewide coalition of people of faith. I urge you to oppose House Substitute for Senate Bill 402, which includes the contents of Senate Bill 372, the "HOPE" Act. As people of faith and religious commitment, we are called to stand with and seek justice for people who are poor. SB 372 makes it more difficult for people to seek aid, and does nothing to address the causes of poverty.
Religious denominations from across the spectrum have long urged elected officials to handle welfare reform carefully, so that it helps those in need and does not hurt them. I am concerned that Kansas is changing the state safety net too quickly, without stopping to first ensure the well-being of our fellow Kansans. SB 372 would further shorten the length of time very poor families can receive cash assistance, and increase work requirements for mothers of newborn children. It would also create new barriers for individuals applying for assistance.
Central to our religious traditions, sacred texts, and teachings is a divine mandate to side with and protect the poor. Please vote against SB 372's contents to ensure a safety net for the most vulnerable among us.
Thank you for taking action on behalf of needy Kansans!