Appeals Court allows welfare cuts to go forward

LANSING (AP) -- The Michigan Court of Appeals has lifted a lower court's ruling that temporarily blocked a state agency's efforts to end welfare benefits for roughly 11,000 families.

The three-member court issued an order last Thursday reversing Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut's injunction. It says the issuance of the injunction last Monday was "inappropriate" and "constituted an abuse of discretion."

The Center for Civil Justice sued on behalf of welfare recipients to halt the new policy. It says using a five-year federal cutoff for welfare benefits conflicts with a state law calling for four-year lifetime limits since the federal limit doesn't include all of the exemptions under the state law.

The Department of Human Services now will be able to end benefits for affected families while the lawsuit goes forward.

Published: Mon, Nov 7, 2011

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