From the Legislative Action Team on Children and Families:
Lawmakers in the WV Senate are expected to consider SB 562, which would drastically increase bureaucratic red tape in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides critical food assistance for West Virginia families.
SNAP brings millions of federal dollars into our food economy, helping support families and local retailers. SB 562 would kick West Virginia families off SNAP by imposing a confusing and ineffective work requirement on most adults up to sixty years old, including those with children over six years old.
SNAP already has work requirements for adults without children and requires all working-age adults to register for work and accept a job if offered. A recent study from the US Department of Agriculture’s Federal Nutrition Service found that mandatory work requirements have no positive impact on employment or earnings but do drastically reduce SNAP enrollment and decrease family food security.
SB 562 would undermine the great work the state’s SNAP E&T program is already doing through job training partnerships in their voluntary program, because the program does not have the administrative capacity to find employment and training slots for everyone who would be required to have one.
The legislation would also undermine our state’s child care system, diverting limited child care subsidies away from working families with children to those who are subject to the mandatory work training programs outlined in this bill.
UPDATE: Mountain State Spotlight reported on Feb. 8 that the bill has been going through substantial changes and the committee will consider a “wholly revised, different committee substitute,” according to Senate spokesperson Jacque Bland. The bill is still pending in the Senate Workforce Committee. You can check the bill’s status here.
UPDATE 2.26.2024: This bill has moved to House Finance.