/ Modified oct 7, 2013 8:44 a.m.

AZ Only State to Cut Off Welfare in Shutdown

Average payments of $207 to 5,200 poor families stopped last week; governor's office, DES won't comment.

Experts say Arizona's decision to withhold welfare checks because of the federal government shutdown appears to make it the only state to cut off funding for the very poor because of the budget crisis.

The state stopped payments averaging $207 a week to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families checks after Tuesday's government shutdown.

The Arizona Republic reported the decision came despite assurances from federal officials that states would be reimbursed for any payments they made for the federal program.

It also comes despite the presence of a $450 million state rainy day fund.

Democratic lawmakers have urged Gov. Jan Brewer to reverse the decision.

Repeated efforts by the Republic to get Department of Economic Security and governor's office officials to comment were unsuccessful.

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