The article is very poorly written or is being misunderstood, IMO. After reading it and doing a google search I found that those that were arrested already had outstanding felony warrants (see MSP link below). IOW, they were not barred from assistance because of the warrant (had they not been receiving assistance they would not have been located) they were picked up and taken into custody because agencies are now sharing information to learn the whereabouts of people with open warrants.
According to the MSP press release, "The joint initiative has its roots in a 2007 pilot program between the OIG and MSP Fugitive Team. At that time, the system had to be combed manually for a match, but the new process is fully automated, allowing the MSP and DHS to rapidly check and match benefit rolls against outstanding felony warrants
." In essence while the 2011 law (PA 198 & 199) set in stone the sharing of information the initiative began in 2007 (four years prior to the passing of 198 & 199 and a time when Gov. Granholm would have been in office).
One thing of note from the MSP Press release is that this program seemed to not only help protect children but also took illegal weapons off the street, identified retailers possibly committing fraud and found suspected drugs or drug houses. "In one incident, a subject was arrested for possessing methamphetamine, which led to several other subsequent arrests, the removal of two children from the home and valuable investigative information about several retailers improperly accepting Bridge Cards." Additionally, the press release stated; "In the Bay/Thumb region troopers cleared 214 of 698 felony arrest warrants, visiting a total of 699 locations, resulting in the recovery of two stolen hand guns, two long guns, cocaine and marijuana."
Although, the state may bar some public assistance to convicted felons (after a conviction) it seems similar to Federal Laws (stipulations) that limit people convicted of felony and or drug convictions from receiving PELL Grants along with Housing Assistance. BTW, I could not find the actual law from the state of Michigan to cite but really did not look that hard because, IMO, this article does not fit the narrative that the State is somehow acting to hold people down.
There is a good discussion about the exchange of information within agencies that could come from this however that should have been had in 2007 when the initiative began and not now once the genie is out of the bottle.
MSP Press Release:http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1586-297309--rss,00.html
Pell Grant information (ref. offenders):http://allhighered.blogspot.com/2011/12/question-about-pell-grant-eligibility.html
HUD eligibility (ref. offenders):http://www.reentry.net/ny/library/attachment.185121
MI Legislature ref. PA 198 and 199 of 2011:http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/publicacttable/pdf/2011-PAT.pdf