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

Readers also liked…

  • Blue Hog says Fort Smith police tried to hack into his computer

    Matt Campbell, author of the Blue Hog Report and a Little Rock lawyer, says in a new filing in a long-running lawsuit by a Fort Smith police officer against the department that a computer file sent by Fort Smith officer contained software intended to hack into his computer and make his hard drive unsafe.
    • Apr 14, 2015
  • Super Bowl line

    Over to you.
    • Feb 7, 2016
  • Little Rock School District sued over refusal to release employee's records

    Matt Campbell, a Little Rock lawyer, said he filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today against the Little Rock School District for its failure to provide personnel records of Teresa Gordon, a media specialist at Jefferson Elementary.
    • Apr 14, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Most Viewed

  • Bills filed to end 'fair dismissal' process for teachers in takeover districts and principals statewide

    Reps. Bruce Cozart (R-Hot Springs) and Mark Lowery (R-Maumelle) have filed two bills aimed at rolling back the labor law that establishes due process for firing teachers and certain administrators in Arkansas.
  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation