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Government & Politics

Another Fight Expected Over SNAP Means Testing Cut From Ohio Budget

sign for electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards used for SNAP benefits at a store
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
A sign shows electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards used for SNAP benefits is accepted at a store in Columbus. Although the concept of "means testing" for food assistance recipients was removed from the recently passed state budget, those who support low-income residents say the effort to make means testing part of the law is not over.

The idea of “means testing” for Ohioans getting food stamps, or SNAP benefits, was removed in the final version of the state budget. But advocates for low-income Ohioans and those who cycle in and out of poverty say the idea isn’t dead.

The Senate version of the budget included a test to ensure SNAP recipients have no more than $2,250 in certain assets. That was removed from the budget but is part of Senate Bill 17.

That bill has had four hearings, the last one in May, as the deadline to pass the budget was looming closer.

Hope Lane with the policy research group the Center for Community Solutions says she expects the idea to get more traction after summer meetings with groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

“Those conservative ‘bill mill’ groups meet in D.C. and across the country to get together and figure out what worked in the first half of the year and what didn’t work and how to regroup," Lane said. "I anticipate seeing it again, and I anticipate another fight.”

ALEC is set to have its annual meeting July 28 to 30 in Salt Lake City. The agenda includes networking sessions along with workshops and meetings on a variety of topics such as health and human services and tax and fiscal policy,

Backers of the means test idea point out it follows federal guidelines and doesn’t include homes valued under $600,000 or cars worth less than $4,650.
Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.