Dec. 05, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) today voiced strong support for a U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) finalized rule that will strengthen work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients. It would build on a Tobash proposal pending in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The USDA rule, which will take effect on April 1, 2020, changes a SNAP waiver for which states can apply. Currently, able-bodied adults without dependents can receive food stamps for a maximum of three months during a 36-month period unless they are employed or enrolled in an education or training program. Individual counties can receive a waiver from these requirements if unemployment is at least 2.5 %. These requirements were signed into law by former President Bill Clinton. The new rule will increase the unemployment minimum to 6 %.

“I have heard a number of complaints from job creators on their inability to fill both skilled and unskilled positions,” Tobash said. “When there are jobs readily available, we should be encouraging able-bodied adults without dependents to take advantage of these opportunities and transition people from welfare to independence and self-sufficiency. Currently, the majority of Pennsylvania counties receive a waiver. This makes no sense when employers are searching for people to fill vacancies.”

Tobash’s House Bill 435 would prohibit the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services from applying for waivers of the work requirement for food stamp recipients without approval of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. It is currently before the House Health Committee.

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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