SENATE HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES AND SENIOR CITIZENS COMMITTEE

 

STATEMENT TO

 

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 47

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

DATED:  FEBRUARY 4, 2016

 

      The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee reports favorably Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 47.

      This concurrent resolution respectfully urges the Food and Nutrition Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture to permit counties and municipalities to apply for waivers of certain time limits applicable within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also called Food Stamps).

      Current federal regulations establish a time limit of three months of SNAP eligibility during any three-year period for so-called able-bodied adults without dependent children if they are unable to find work.  However, the State is authorized to seek a waiver of this provision for the entire State or any area within the State if there is exceptionally high unemployment in the area or a lack of sufficient jobs to provide employment for the individuals who would otherwise be subject to the time limit.  New Jersey had been granted such waivers for several years since the beginning of the Great Recession, but the Christie administration abruptly decided not to extend any waivers in 2016.  This resolution urges the federal government to allow local governments to seek waivers on behalf of their residents when the State fails to do so.

      In addition, this resolution urges the federal government to extend the SNAP eligibility time limit from three months to six months, in order to allow SNAP recipients sufficient time to find work and thereby comply with program rules.