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Welfare benefits to be cut Aug. 1


HELENA (AP) - As they predicted even before the 2003 Legislature ended, state welfare officials announced Monday they will reduce benefits to 17,000 people in Montana beginning Aug. 1. The reduction affects those relying on a program that provides cash assistance to the poor. The payment rate will drop from 40.5 percent of the federal poverty level to 30 percent.

For a three-person household, the change will mean a reduction in benefits from $507 per month to $375. Because individual income will decrease, an increase in food stamps may result.

The cut is a result of lawmakers' slicing about...

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