Advocate says Kasich budget will hurt Ohio's poor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A long-time advocate for Ohio's poor says Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) decision to expand Medicaid is only part of what's needed.

Athens County Job and Family Services Director Jack Frech (frehk) says Kasich's two-year, $63.2 billion operating budget cuts $191 million in block grants for the needy and would result in additional families being removed from cash assistance and food stamp programs.

An Ohio Department of Job and Family Services spokesman says the budget is down because caseloads have declined. He said spending is up in other areas, including work-related assistance.

Frech says he's shared his concerns about the failings of Ohio's welfare system with lawmakers.

Nearly half of Ohio's poor children live in extreme poverty, and 20 percent of food stamp recipients have no cash income.

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