New Mexico proposes work requirement for food stamps

By Barry Massey

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

In this April 2, 2014 file photo, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez speaks during a news conference in Albuquerque, N.M.

Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez's administration is proposing to re-impose work requirements on low-income New Mexicans to qualify for food stamps.

Starting in October, the state plans to restore a 20-hour-a-week work requirement for childless adults to get food stamps. That was suspended in 2009 because of the national recession.

The administration also proposes a new food stamp requirement for parents of children age 6 and older. Adults would have to search for a job or participate in community service.

Social services advocates say the work-related requirements are a bad idea when New Mexico has been losing jobs.

Human Services spokesman Matt Kennicott said the requirements are similar to what's required for other public assistance, including the state's welfare-to-work program.

About 420,000 New Mexicans receive food stamps averaging $265 a month.

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