LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) – After a heated debate on the Senate floor Monday, a bill to expand the work requirement for food stamp recipients goes to the governor.
House Bill 1775 will require about 50,000 able-bodied SNAP beneficiaries to participate in an employment and training program.
“I don’t want this to get mixed up with even assuming that anybody in here doesn’t want people to work,” said St. Sen. Joyce Elliott, Little Rock.
The debate surrounding the legislation was less about work and more about access.
“Some of my Senate district, it’s a long way from where they live to where there’s any kind of training or any kind of job,” said St. Sen. Eddie Cheatham, D-Crossett.
Elliott reiterated Cheatham’s concerns to the bill’s sponsor, St. Sen. Scott Flippo, R-Bull Shoals.
“Does it mean anything to you?,” she asked. “Does it mean anything to you at all?”
“Sen. Elliott, here’s my thing,” Flippo said. “There is an abundance of jobs in this state, and I’m completely unsatisfied that 72 percent of able-bodied, working-age adults on SNAP benefits are currently not working. Yeah, I find that very problematic.”
“I do, too,” Elliott replied.
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