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State Democrats vote to allow food stamps for deadbeat parents

Republicans howled Wednesday when the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to stop denying food stamps to deadbeat parents and to the unemployed who refuse to get job training.

Gov. Jim Doyle proposed both measures in his new state budget and the finance panel refused to drop them on 8-8 party-line votes.

Charity Eleson of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families says feeding the poor is the humane thing to do. But Rep. Scott Suder, R-Abbotsford, says deadbeat parents will laugh all the way to the grocery store.

Rep. Robin Vos, R-Racine, says people will quit job training if they don't have the loss of food stamps hanging over their heads.

The governor's people say neither is true and experience in other states proves it.

Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, says poor folks must eat in order to get the energy to work.

About 75 jobless people lost their food stamps last year for refusing to get job training. About 500 others were denied food stamps for not paying child support. Mississippi is the only other state which does that.