Two weeks ago, the House of Delegates passed a bill (HB 4001) that would further restrict access to food assistance (SNAP).
The version of the bill approved by the House eliminated the asset testing requirement for those who apply for SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and prohibits the state from providing a financial incentive for its eligibility verification vendor to reduce the number of SNAP recipients. However, these changes only made a bad bill less bad.
Unfortunately, the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee is moving forward with consideration of the bill.
HB 4001 would implement work requirements in some of the state’s poorest counties, and prevent able bodied adults without dependents from accessing SNAP for more than 3 months over a three year period, and imposes no responsibility on the state to provide assistance or incentives to help program participants obtain work or job training or to further their education. This will only replicate the failures of the state’s nine-county pilot project which enacted a work requirement for SNAP that failed to boost employment but succeeded in lowering enrollment.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in a weak economy, every $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.70 in our local economy. In 2016, SNAP brought $499 million in federal dollars to West Virginia.
Yours for Action,
Team WV CAG