Late yesterday, Governor Rick Scott issued a letter to Speaker Boehner calling on Congress to support an amendment to the Farm Bill that was proposed by U.S. Representative Steve Southerland, which would provide states more flexibility to manage SNAP benefits.
THE GOVERNOR'S FULL LETTER IS BELOW:
June 19, 2013
The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
I write to express and urge support for the "Providing Relief to Individuals Desiring Employment (PRIDE) Act," which will be offered by U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland as an amendment to the Farm Bill. The PRIDE Act will allow governors to apply for a federal waiver to implement work, education, and training requirements in their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Since 2000, SNAP has grown from $20 billion to $85 billion nationally and has become the second most costly federal means-tested assistance program. According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, half of SNAP heads of households in 2011 had stopped looking for work.
U.S. Rep. Southerland's proposal recognizes the need to reform long-running government-assistance programs to ensure their availability for future generations while allowing states to modernize and tailor their administration of these federal programs.
Florida's Reemployment Assistance Program requires claimants to document and submit a minimum of five unique and verifiable work searches per week. Requiring similar job seeking measures for SNAP will help support our ultimate goal of every Florida family having a great job.
I applaud U.S. Rep. Southerland's leadership on this issue and believe the PRIDE Act is a positive step forward.