Valley reaction to new restrictions on welfare

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- President Trump taking a big step toward welfare reform after signing an executive order on Tuesday aimed at creating stricter work requirements in return for government help.

"I don't think he should have done that. I'd probably just have bread and milk in my fridge. It helps a lot. It would affect me and other families that have children," Fresno resident, Mashamanik Bolden said.

Along with strengthening work requirements, the order also looks into new requirements for benefits like housing and food stamps.

Some agree with his decision.

"I believe as any taxpayer. It's what you put into. It's not something that's just given to you. It's something that's worked for," Job seeker, Deanne Ruelas, said.

The Merced County Director of Workforce Investment says the county is working on creating programs to help folks get jobs. There are already programs available at Worknet in Merced aimed at helping people fulfill benefit requirements.

"The work requirement basically says that folks who are able-bodied individuals that can receive benefits for 3 months need to participate in work activity. In partnership with economic development department, our programs count toward that requirement," Merced County workforce investment director David Mirrione said.

Merced County Housing Authority officials said the requirements could cause income to go up, meaning rent will also rise. Others may not even be eligible for housing.

The Trump administration also considering drug testing plans for some food stamp recipients.

RELATED: Trump administration weighing drug testing for food stamps

The order now gives various cabinet secretaries about 3 months to review their agency's current programs, and recommend possible policy changes.
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