Similar to last year, some members of the West Virginia House have introduced a bill (H.B. 4001) that would further restrict access to food assistance (SNAP) and other vital safety net programs. The bill would impose an assets test and require the West Virginia DHHR to implement a new comprehensive verification system by January 1, 2019.
This is despite the fact that most state’s have discontinued their asset testing for SNAP because they recognized that it was counter-productive and punishes families for saving money for emergencies or for their children’s future while they are temporarily enrolled in SNAP. States have also found that administering an asset test for SNAP can be expensive and difficult, and in some cases, it can cost more to administer than it can potentially save in SNAP benefits.
In addition to asset testing for food assistance, HB 4001 allows DHHR to contract with a third party vendor to implement the new verification system and it requires that the system pay for itself after one year. It would achieve these so-called savings by removing people on SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF.
Finally, the bill would also require DHHR to implement work requirements for non-disabled childless adults who work less than 20 hours per week in counties with “sufficient work or volunteerism opportunities” even though it is clear from the state’s nine-county pilot project where they enacted a work requirement for this population that this is a failed policy that did nothing to boost employment but succeeded in lowering SNAP enrollment.
On Monday, February 12 at 8:30AM, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on HB 4001 in the House Chamber. If you’re able to attend:
If you can’t make it to Charleston, please make calls or send emails to House Judiciary Committee members and your delegate(s). Tell them not to punish families who rely on SNAP, Medicaid, and other safety net programs.
You can send a personalized email to all committee members by copying the list below and pasting into your email “To:” field:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Yours for Action,
Team WV CAG