UPDATE: W.Va. Gov. Justice signs work requirement/food stamp bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- UPDATE 3/27/18 @ 3 p.m.
West Virginia's governor has signed a bill to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Gov. Jim Justice signed the bill Tuesday.

It applies to people ages 18 to 49 who aren't pregnant, disabled or military veterans, have no dependents and receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Currently, 46 of West Virginia's 55 counties have the work requirement waivers.

Advocates say it will help eliminate fraud and get people back to work. Opponents say it will push struggling people out of the food stamps program, cut federal funding and grocery spending in West Virginia and increase food pantry demand.

On Oct. 1, requirement waivers would be sought only in counties with 12-month average unemployment rate above 10 percent. All counties would become ineligible three years later.



ORIGINAL STORY 3/10/18
The West Virginia Senate has voted 27-6 to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide.

It would apply to people ages 18 to 49 who aren’t pregnant, disabled or military veterans, have no dependent children and get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Currently, 46 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have waivers from the work requirement.

Advocates say it will help eliminate fraud and get people back to work, even if only volunteer work.

The bill previously passed the House 78-19.

Opponents say it will push struggling poor people out of the food stamps program, cut federal funding and grocery spending in West Virginia and increase demand on its food pantries.

They say that was the main effect of a nine-county pilot program.



 
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