State House moves to codify tying truancy to cash assistance

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A Michigan Human Services Department policy of requiring school attendance for families receiving cash assistance would be codified under a bill moving through the Republican-controlled state Legislature.

The state House passed the bill 74-36 on Thursday.

It would put into law an existing department policy that a family would lose eligibility for the Family Independence Program if a child ages 6 through 15 doesn't meet certain attendance requirements. Children ages 16-19 who are still dependents and haven't graduated from high school would lose cash assistance for themselves if they don't meet those attendance requirements.

Opponents say the legislation doesn't outline clear steps for addressing truancy before removing an entire family from cash assistance.

Supporters say multiple precautions would be taken.

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