Kansas lawmakers tie SNAP for able-bodied adults to job training

The House and Senate voted on a plan to require able-bodied adults to work or enroll in a job training program in order to receive federal food assistance.

By

State News

April 1, 2022 - 5:03 PM

Rep. Stephanie Clayton, D-Overland Park, leans in to make a point with House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita. On Thursday, Clayton opposed a bill linking food stamp access for able-bodied adults to holding down a job for at least 30 hours a week or enrolling in a job training program. Photo by (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Kansas House and Senate voted to send Gov. Laura Kelly a measure Thursday mandating able-bodied adults without dependents hold down a job for 30 hours a week or enroll in a job training program to receive federal food assistance.

Rep. Sean Tarwater, a Stilwell Republican who chairs the House commerce committee, said he was convinced placing the requirement into state law would compel more people 18 to 49 years of age without a disability to enter the workforce. If Kelly concurred, Kansans meeting the work-hour minimum or enroll in job training wouldn’t be blocked from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also called SNAP or food stamps.

“It’s a successful program. Helps people learn new skills. Get higher wage jobs,” said Tarwater, who expects the bill to help motivate people to get a substantive job. “We think people will just go back to work for 30 hours rather than go to a class.”

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