In this Feb. 11, 2016 photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam listens to a question during an interview in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Tennessee Governor Haslam to require work for able-bodied food stamp recipients

Earlier this week, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced that all able-bodied food stamp recipients would be required to work at least 20 hours or be approved at a volunteer program or a qualified education/training program to get benefits. The measure goes into effect Feb. 1.

According to the Governor’s office, “the requirements are expected to impact 58,000 of the approximately 1 million Tennesseans getting the grocery buying assistance.”

Under previous Governor Phil Bredesen (D), work requirements were easied in the middle of the 2008 recession.

In addition to this new requirement, Haslam announced that separate plans to pursue fraud, waste, and abuse among individuals receiving public assistance will be focused on soon.

This program is similar to what Maine implemented in 2008. During the first three months after Maine’s new policy went into affect, its ABAWD caseload plummeted by nearly 80 percent.

This is also similar to the result nationally when under President Bill Clinton, the Aid To Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) law was passed in mid-1990s requiring work for welfare recipients.

As a conservative, we hear all the time that we should cut waste, fraud, and abuse. Here is an actual example of that happening.

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Clayton Felts

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