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Politics

'Means Testing' For Ohio SNAP Benefits Still Alive In Senate Bill

A sign shows electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards used for SNAP benefits is accepted at a store in Columbus.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
A sign shows electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards used for SNAP benefits is accepted at a store in Columbus.

The idea of “means testing” for Ohioans getting food stamp 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 have said 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 said 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 DC 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 28-30 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.