Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Governor declines waivers on food stamp benefits in high unemployment areas

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 6:58 AM

The Arkansas News Bureau reports that some 5 percent, or 25,000, of the 500,000 Arkansans who received supplemental nutrition benefits (food stamps) could lose those benefits unless they get jobs, sign up for accredited job training programs or work 20 hours a week in volunteer toil.

Because of a declining unemployment rate, the state no longer qualifies for a waiver from the job-seeking requirement under the federally paid SNAP program. This rule requires to able-bodied people aged 18 to 49 without children.

The news relayed to generally approving legislators Monday included the information that Gov. Asa Hutchinson could have asked for a federal waiver from the job-seeking rule in counties with extraordinarily high unemployment rates. A ready list of qualifying counties is not available, but waivers can be extended in counties with an unemployment rate 20 percent higher than the national average for a two-year period. The national unemployment rate is 5 percent. That would make a 6 percent unemployment rate 20 percent higher currently. Some 18 Arkansas counties, heavily concentrated in the Delta, have unemployment rates higher than 6 percent, though figures aren't readily available of their experience against the national overage over the two-year period by which waivers may be calculated.

Places with chronic high unemployment are generally not rich places for jobs or job training — or perhaps even for volunteer opportunities given strapped local governments.

The governor believes tough love is the way out. The Arkansas News Bureau story quoted Mark White, deputy director of the Department of Human Services:

White said after the hearing that Hutchinson chose not to seek waivers for individual counties because “he wants to encourage work and help our beneficiaries transition from dependency to gainful employment.” 

Chicot, Mississippi and Phillips County have unemployment rates above 7 percent.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders to be deputy White House press secretary

    Donald Trump announced additional White House staff today, notably including Sarah Huckabee Sanders, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary.
  • Legislation filed for $10 million school voucher program

    The legislation to vastly expand transfer of state tax dollars to private schools came before the school choice day event I mentioned earlier.
  • Watch the trailer for 'Shelter,' the Renaud Bros. new doc on homeless kids in New Orleans

    Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
  • Trumpeting

    When President-elect Trump announced he would, in a few days, force Congress to enact comprehensive health insurance for everyone, poor or rich, that would provide better and cheaper care than they've ever gotten, you had to wonder whether this guy is a miracle worker or a fool.
  • Putin and Trump

    Here's a thought exercise: What do you suppose would happen if Russian strongman Vladimir Putin decided to clarify remarks he reportedly made about Donald Trump during the election campaign?

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

  • Milligan aide: "Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos!"

    Hunter Hatcher, who started as Outreach Coordinator for the Treasurer's office under Dennis Milligan in 2015, took to social media to explain how things will be different in Trump's America (Hatcher is currently on leave from the state job but slated to return in December).
  • Open Line

    It's yours.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Donald Trump breaks promise, will not release tax returns

    • "I'd bet my last $10 on it. But here's the deal: We'll see Trump's tax…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Open Line

    • Boss Tweed paid HIS lackeys on time. "Even the firm that hired actors to cheer…

    • on January 22, 2017
  • Re: Open Line

    • If you want to see traitor trumps plan for lower health insurance look at OSCAR'S…

    • on January 22, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation