West Virginia Panel Advances Work Rule for Food Stamps

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A legislative committee in West Virginia has narrowly voted to advance legislation that would establish a 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients.

The bill, approved 12-10 by the House Health and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday, would apply to people ages 18 to 49 who aren’t disabled, have no dependent children and get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

It also would subject them and everyone in their households to an asset test to determine if they are poor enough to qualify.

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

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