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SNAP bill moves out of West Virginia House Health Committee


The Herald-Dispatch

Del. Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha, said he finds House Bill 4001 distasteful and illogical.
(West Virginia Legislative Photography photo by Perry Bennett)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill that would expand work requirements to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, along with requiring asset tests for public assistance, has been passed out of the House Health and Human Resources Committee.

House Bill 4001 would implement work requirements for recipients of SNAP benefits ages 18 to 49 without dependents in counties where the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources deems there to be sufficient opportunities for work or volunteerism.

Recipients would need to work at least 20 hours a week, participate in a work program or do certified volunteer work.

The bill also requires DHHR to conduct an asset test on all members of the applicant’s household to determine eligibility for public assistance. The bill outlines a number of different databases and avenues — state and federal — DHHR should use to determine a person’s assets. The bill uses federal code to determine what an allowable asset for eligibility is. A third party can be contracted to perform the asset tests.

Delegates opposed to the bill expressed concern with all aspects of the bill, from the third-party contract to the implications the requirements have on communities.

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