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Wed Jun 24, 2015, 02:53 AM

State seeks tighter food stamp rules

SANTA FE – Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration wants to expand work, training and job-search requirements for low-income New Mexicans to qualify for food stamps.

Rules proposed by the Human Services Department would require parents of children older than 6 to participate in up to 80 hours a month of specified activities, such as community service.

Rules that tie food assistance to activities such as job searches and training are currently imposed on most single, able-bodied adults ages 18 to 50. That would be expanded to include 16- through 60-year-olds.

The proposed requirements come after the state had a 21 percent increase in the number of cases in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, over the year that ended in April. More than 20 percent of the state’s population of over 2 million is enrolled in the program.

Read more: http://www.abqjournal.com/603308/news/state-seeks-tighter-food-stamp-rules.html

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:04 AM

1. An awful lot of people getting SNAP also work.

Are they supposed to do an additional 80 hours of "specified activities"? How about just offering them jobs that pay livable wages?

We must quit the pretension that there are jobs for everyone. There quite simply aren't and businesses certainly don't want that scenario to ever happen. And quit pretending that these government sponsored job search and training programs do anything other than provide a few jobs for the (government or more likely private contractor) trainers. This is simply enforced slavery for food.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:25 AM

2. I don't believe that an additional 80 hours will be required from

someone who is already working or doing volunteer activities.

There are similar requirements for single individuals in all states under the SNAP program. Where New Mexico would be going beyond the federal requirements is for parents who have children above six years of age to do some type of either work or volunteer program. If they are actually disabled, then they can receive a medical waiver (Form 1836A). The issue is whether they can find either work or volunteer openings while the children attend school and they will also have to arrange child care coverage during summer and other break times away from school. I also believe that expanding the work requirements from 50 to 60 years old are unreasonable considering that employers start discriminating against hiring new employees at increasingly younger ages (I think that 45 is the new number compared to 50 a couple of decades ago).

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:35 AM

3. Perhaps, but the article didn't specify such.

I think the job search and other training would qualify too but they are basically a waste of time. This is just another attempt to punish the poor and make them scapegoats for the State's ills.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 04:58 AM

4. I'm on SNAP benefits so I know the rules pretty well.

I am on a medical waiver due to disability issues and had my 50th birthday earlier this month. Job search and educational training typically does not qualify for the work requirements. The problem in New Mexico is that the industrial base is so undeveloped that the only employment opportunities are either in tourism or mining.

I agree that the governor is trying to placate her Republican base.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 24, 2015, 05:31 AM

5. The rules must be defined by the states. In California there are no work requirements

for SNAP (Cal-Fresh).

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 03:34 PM

6. How are some going to get to where they are voluntarily working, with no car and/or no money for

gasoline? The State of New Mexico going to foot the overhead cost of state duty? Then the working volunteers should have state health insurance, providing the cost of premiums, by the taxpayers. Food Stamps are federal. How about auto insurance costs and car inspections costs?

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sat Jun 27, 2015, 06:32 PM

7. Martinez has done nothing. The state

is still in the pits. A net worth of 250K puts you in the one percent!

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