Thursday, the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate decided to send Gov. Laura Kelly a bill that would require able-bodied adults without dependents to hold down a job for 30 hours a week or participate in a job training program in order to receive food assistance from the federal government.
In an interview with the Journal, Rep. Sean Tarwater, a Stilwell Republican who chairs the House business committee,
expressed his belief that making the requirement official state law would encourage more persons between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have a disability to enter the workforce.
Kansans who meet the work-hour requirement or who enroll in employment training would not be denied benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, generally known as food stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“It’s an extremely successful program.” It facilitates the acquisition of new abilities. “Get better-paying employment,” added Tarwater, who anticipates that the bill will assist in motivating people to obtain a meaningful positions.
“We believe that rather than attending a class, people will simply return to work for 30 hours.”
Opponents of House Bill 2448 said that the Opportunity Solutions Project, a Florida think tank, was the only public champion for changing the Kansas job training program from a voluntary option to a government mandate in regard to food stamps.
A spokeswoman from the organization stated that the pressure strategy was necessary in order to get people off the sidelines and into an economy that was in desperate need of employees.
SNAP candidates who do not comply with the weekly work or job training instruction, according to Rep. Stephanie Clayton, D-Overland Park, would be required to hire staff — possibly as many as 30 — to check their progress.
Clayton described the situation as follows: “You’ve got an outside, out-of-state organizing trying to push their will and their policies on us.” To summarise, the sketch process is presented by a sketch proponent. It will place an unwarranted weight on the shoulders of taxpayers.”
In the House of Representatives, the law passed by a vote of 70 to 46 after passing through the Senate by a vote of 28 to 11.
In the Senate, debate centered on similar themes of the government’s responsibility to assist individuals in finding a way out of poverty and the dangers of jeopardizing an individual’s current food security in return for the possibility of future work opportunities.
In addition, proponents of the legislation stated that the issue was fostering adult self-sufficiency and independence. Skeptics characterized it as simply mean.
According to Sen. Beverly Gossage, R-Eudora, “the entire objective of this is to encourage folks to receive the training they need to get back to work.”
In a statement, Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, expressed worry that those who rely on food stamps may be forced to leave their low-wage jobs in order to comply with the training program requirement.
She also stated that the measure might cost the Department of Children and Families as much as $2.7 million per year to track compliance among SNAP applications or participants.
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Kansas lawmakers should increase the number of people who enroll in job training programs so that families can break the cycle of generational poverty, according to Rep. Pat Proctor, R-Leavenworth.
To him, continuing to support a system that maintains people in poverty was “morally wrong. “
House Democratic Leader Jason Probst (D-Hutchinson) explained that the bill was intended to make life more difficult for impoverished individuals, even if they had a job.
He claimed that the measure was more about conservative legislators collecting political points with their base voters than it was about meeting the nutritional and training requirements of the impoverished.
Rather than being beneficial, he asserted, the measure constituted an unneeded expansion of state government and a waste of taxpayer funds.
As Probst put it, “This is a horrible policy from a conservative standpoint.”
“It’s the horrible policy if you care about the plight of the poor.” We’re doing this solely to be cruel to poor people and to assert that we have the authority to control what they do and don’t do,” says one.