Rejected Farm Bill Draws Local Reaction

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

A U.S. House of Representatives bill that would have made some adjustments to the food stamps program has been rejected. The bill would have cut two billion dollars annually from food stamps and allow states to implement new work requirements. Bay County residents are now voicing their opinions on the failed bill.

About one in five Bay County residents are enrolled to receive food stamps. Currently the program doesn't require people to work.

An amendment to the farm bill by Representative Steve Southerland would have given states an option to change that.

"Able bodied people could be required to work, to be trained for work, required to look for work, or could even do volunteer work," said Rep. Southerland.

NewsChannel 7 went out in the community to see what you had to say about this amendment.

"Yes I do think you should participate and work in some regard to receive government funds."

Others say it depends.

"People should have to work, but not everybody can work."

In Bay County, around 34,000 and 18,000 households are on food stamps. That adds up to more than $4,000,000 dollars in costs.

"To protect that social safety net for the true needy, the children, the disabled, the seniors. I think that everyone who is abled body must do their part," said Rep. Southerland.

Governor Rick Scott has endorsed the work requirement amendment by writing a letter to congress.

It says in part quote "U.S. Representative Southerland's proposal recognizes the need to reform long-running government-assistance programs."

Representative Southerland says he may look into making his amendment into a stand alone bill.


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