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Community service could be required for Mich. welfare recipients

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Community service could soon be a requirement for those receiving government assistance in Michigan.

Some praise the plan as a way for the poor to earn what they get, while others say it's a mean-spirited slam on those who are already down on their luck.

In a 27-9 vote Wednesday, the state Senate passed the community service bill, which would require people receiving food stamps or other welfare benefits to perform community service to get assistance.

"It simply says if you're going to receive your social welfare payments, your cash assistance welfare, that you have to put in some kind of community service," said Sen. Joe Hune, a Republican from Hamburg Twp., wrote the legislation.

"I think there's nothing wrong with folks having some skin in the game helping the community who's been helping them for so long."

Click the video player to hear reaction from Michigan citizens.

Sen. Vincent Gregory, a Democrat from Southfield voted against the bill. "My opposition was these single moms, they have to spend the money they're receiving from the state to get daycare in order to take care of their kids, so already the money they're receiving is being cut down."

Another bill was also passed Wednesday affecting unemployment benefits. The new bill would deny benefits to those who became unemployed after refusing to take or failing a drug test required by employers.

The state House now will consider both bills before they head to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk.

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