U.S. District Judge Franklin Burgess ruled against a state law that required people to reside in Washington for one year before collecting welfare benefits at state levels.
“The law unfairly penalizes people who move here to escape from a battering spouse, to join family members or to pursue a job opportunity,” said Julya Hampton, an American Civil Liberties Union representative.
Supporters of the law worried that poor families would move to Washington because of higher benefits. Washington pays a family of three $546 a month, while Idaho pays $276 and Oregon $460.
A federal appeals court recently struck down a similar law in California, citing discrimination against new residents.