The state pays for the carís insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for one year at a total cost of roughly $6,000 per car.
The program, which started in 2006, distributes cars donated by non-profit charities
such as Good News Garage, a Lutheran charity, which also does the repair work on the car and bills the state.
Kehoe defended the program, saying the state breaks even by cutting welfare payments to the family - about $6,000 a year.
ďIf you look at the overall picture, this helps make sure people arenít staying on cash assistance. Itís a relatively short payment for a long-term benefit,Ē Kehoe said.
But Kehoe admitted about 20 percent
of those who received a car ended up back on welfare, and while they lose the insurance and other benefits, they donít have to return the car.