By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia area legislators gathered today to criticize a series of moves by Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett that they say are aimed at cutting programs for poor people.

“The attack on poor people is unconscionable, and we need to stand up and tell them to stop the madness,” said state representative Michelle Brownlee, who was among a dozen speakers who charged that recent moves by the Corbett administration had no apparent rationale other than to punish those with low incomes.

The most recent change — imposing an asset test for food stamp applicants (see related story) — will actually cost the state money, according to George Matysik of the food bank Philabundance, because food stamps are paid for by the federal government and spent in local grocery stores.

“That’s cutting $85 million dollars in economic activity coming into the Commonwealth, that’s coming to Pennsylvania corporations, that’s coming to Pennsylvania small businesses,” he said.

An administration spokesperson says she hears that taxpayers support the asset test.

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