Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Should Welfare Recipients Be Required to Work? According to some groups in Kentucky the answer is no. The debate is over whether recipients of SNAP or food stamps should be required to work. As it is, some 164,000 Kentuckians receive food stamps and nearly half are children. It amounts to $1 billion per year. But Congress is proposing changes for able bodied recipients between the ages of 18-59 to work or go to school at least 20 hours per week. The groups in opposition include the ACLU, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and others who say that it is "shortsighted" and "harmful." But a bigger question looms over whether dependency on government programs without any expectations of able-bodied participants is really good for the person, their dignity and truly helping them out of poverty.