January 27, 2010
Vol: 17 No: 5


Governor, legislature don’t agree on disability reform

By Cydney Gillis / Staff Reporter

What is GAU? A lifesaver, says Spoonman

Artis has been living on $339 a month from the state's General Assistance-Unemployable disability program since 2002. He has just been accepted and will transition to federal SSI disability benefits. The governor wants to put a lifetime limit on GAU recipients of six months. Photo courtesy Artis

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He’s played in countries all over the world and in all 50 states. He’s appeared on “The David Letterman Show” and can be heard furiously playing his spoons on Frank Zappa’s “Civilization Phaze III.”

But after all his tours, for all his notoriety, Artis the Spoonman has never earned more than a pittance in his life and has never been able to hold down a job. It wasn’t until he signed up for a state disability program in 2002 and started going to doctors that he finally figured out why.

The 61-year-old Artis



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