A legislative effort to wrest from the Louisiana governor authority to determine who receives food stamps was shot down Wednesday in a state Senate committee.
The Louisiana House had approved House Bill 594 that required legislative approval to seek a waiver from federal rules requiring childless and able-bodied recipients seek work in order to receive food stamps.
But senators on the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee repeatedly pointed out to Rep. Jay Morris, R-Monroe and lead sponsor of the measure, that Gov. John Bel Edwards dealt with the issue in late April.
Edwards signed an executive order requiring thousands of unemployed adults to seek work or training assistance, starting July 1, in order to continue receiving food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, called SNAP.
The Legislature gave the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals, who is appointed by the governor, to administer SNAP.
Morris said he became aware the Legislature had no input when then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was running for president, announced he would let the waiver lapse.
The 4-2 vote fell along party lines as the committee voted to defer the legislation, meaning it’s likely dead for the rest of this legislative session.
Voting for removing questions about convictions from some state employment applications (4): Sens. Wesley Bishop, D-New Orleans; Troy Carter, D-New Orleans; JP Morrell, D-New Orleans; and Gregory Tarver, D-Shreveport.
Voting against HB266 (2); Sens. Jim Fannin, R-Jonesboro; and Mike Walsworth, R-West Monroe.
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