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Caswell backpedals on secondhand clothing issue

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MahurinPointing_Thumb1_762.jpg

A proposal by Hillsdale County Republican Sen. Bruce Caswell to allow foster children to purchase clothing only at secondhand stores has been amended.

Caswell says in a statement on his website that he will amend the proposal to direct the Department of Human Services to develop a special clothing purchase program for foster kids.

Senator Caswell initially proposed issuing a gift card for the clothing allowance for resale shops in order to ensure the money would actually go toward purchasing clothing. After a suggestion from a constituent, he plans to draft an amendment to the proposal that would direct the state to work with major retailers to create a gift card program that would ensure the clothing allowance money only purchases clothing and shoes at their stores. Furthermore, the amendment will direct DHS to negotiate with the retailers for a discount on those clothing items purchased with the allowance in order to get the best deal for the recipients.

Caswell also issued the following statement about the proposals:

“My sole goal in this proposal is to make sure that children receive the clothing allowance that the state has provided for them and not have it used for anything else,” said Caswell. “I believe this solution will go a long way to achieving that objective. If anyone else has a better idea on how we can ensure the money goes for clothing alone, I very much welcome those suggestions and urge you to share your ideas with me. I appreciate the input I have already received that has resulted in making the proposal better.”

What Caswell fails to mention is the enormous internet chatter that went viral over the weekend. Michigan Messenger’s blog on the issue has been shared over 21,000 times on Facebook alone. The blog was also picked up by Fark.com, Gawker and the Huffington Post.

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