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Politics & Government

New bill would open up welfare cash to drug felons

Delaware Public Media

Felons with drug convictions were first able to receive federal and state food benefits in 2011 after Delaware lawmakers okayed the move.

And now some Democrats want to extend cash benefits to them as well.

Rep. David Bentz (D-Christiana) says without outside help like these programs, ex-offenders are more likely to commit crimes just to survive.

“I see the food stamps and the temporary assistance to be kind of the bare minimum that we can do for these people, honestly, to try to make it possible for them to reintegrate and, like I said, productive members of society,” Bentz said.

He notes more money also needs to be spent on rehabilitation programs while offenders are in prison, as well as re-entry support to steer them away from committing another crime.

The bill has no outward Republican support, signaling a tough future from the right side of the aisle and potentially from more conservative Democrats as well.