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Tobash’s Welfare Reform Bill Approved by Health Committee
HARRISBURG – Rep. Mike Tobash’s (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) House Bill 1659 seeks to prohibit the Department of Human Services from applying for, accepting or renewing waivers of the work requirements without prior approval of the General Assembly. The bill passed the Health Committee on Monday.

“As my colleagues and I head into another state budget season, we must bring cost-saving measures to the forefront and reform our state’s welfare system,” Tobash explained. “I believe that the state should help those in need, but welfare should be considered a hand-up, not a hand-out. Those who are able to work should work, volunteer or be in training for work, in exchange for taxpayer assistance. It is only fair for taxpayers that those who are able to help themselves do so.”

House Bill 1659 states that as a condition for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit eligibility, recipients would be required to do at least one of the following:

• Must be employed for an average of at least 20 hours per week;
• Engage in at least 24 hours of community service per month;
• Participate in a work program for at least 20 hours a week;
• Be enrolled as a full-time student in an institution of higher education.

These requirements would be in place for people who are able-bodied, without dependents between the ages of 18 and 50, and would not apply to single parents with custody of a child under the age of 6.

Tobash’s bill was among several others that were announced at a welfare reform press conference held on Jan. 2 at the Capitol.

“It has long been my belief that in order to contain costs and bring about real reform to Pennsylvania’s welfare system, we need laws in place that can help give more families an opportunity to improve their quality of life, while tackling waste, fraud and abuse from within the current system,” Tobash said. “That’s exactly what this bill and others aim to do.”

For more information about House Bill 1659, or any other state-related issue, contact Tobash’s district office in Schuylkill Haven located at 988 East Main St., by calling 570-385-8235. Information can also be found online at or

Representative Mike Tobash
125th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Krisinda Corbin
717.705.2032 /

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