Alabama Senate panel narrows scope of bill regarding public benefits recipients

A state Senate committee Wednesday drastically reduced the scope of a proposal that would have required most adults who receive a wide range of public benefits in Alabama to perform community service.

The committee approved a new version of SB 87, sponsored by Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, that simply would forbid the state from continuing to request waivers of federal work requirements for able-bodied, working-age adults who have no dependents and who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The panel’s action came at Taylor’s request. The amended bill now moves to the full Senate.

Taylor’s original bill would have required most adult Alabamians who receive a host of public benefits – including SNAP, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), public housing and unemployment compensation – to perform 20 hours of community service each week to remain eligible. The original bill included no explicit exceptions for people who were employed or enrolled in school or job training.

Click here to read’s coverage of the committee action.

Click here to read ACPP’s analysis of the original bill.

By Chris Sanders, communications director. Posted Feb. 6, 2014.