Senate Democrats block measure to reduce SNAP benefits

virginia general assemblyThis morning, the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee heard a bill, SB 1482, to prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Services from performing a key function of the job: taking individual circumstances into account to improve the well-being of all Virginians.

The bill, patroned by Glen H. Sturtevant, R-Midlothian, would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Resources from applying for, accepting, or renewing any statewide or local waivers of the eligibility requirements for participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The bill was passed by indefinitely, with all Democrats voting to PBI.

Said Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), “To make it sound like people on food stamps don’t want to work is simply inaccurate and offensive. Our job as legislators is to improve the lives of all of our constituents. Proposals like this one needlessly demonize some of the least fortunate among us, including the working poor who simply don’t currently make enough to eat and make ends meet.”

Said Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), Instead of trying to make it harder for people to buy food for their families, how about we work on raising workers’ wages? How about we provide them with workforce training or expand opportunities to attend our excellent community colleges? Our Caucus is happy to work with our Republican colleagues on those initiatives, but we will not participate in shameful measures to take the food out of children’s mouths.”

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