weather icon Partly Cloudy

Sisolak slams Trump administration’s SNAP decision

CARSON CITY — The Trump administration’s move to toughen work requirements for getting food stamps could cut aid to some 80,000 low-income Nevadans, a move Gov. Steve Sisolak denounced as “unconscionable” on Friday.

The move is part of a series of changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as “SNAP.”

More than 400,000 Nevadans receive SNAP assistance. One rule change, announced Wednesday, limits states’ ability to exempt able-bodied single adults from having to obtain employment to receive SNAP benefits.

Under current rules, adults 18 to 49 with no dependents can receive only three months of SNAP benefits in a three-year period if they don’t work 20 hours a week. States with high unemployment or lack of available jobs can waive those time limits. The change means that states can’t issue those waivers unless unemployment in an area is 6 percent or higher.

Nevada has received a waiver from January through March that covers all but Washoe County. If future waivers are denied more than 32,000 individuals will lose SNAP after three months, the state Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

A second proposed change would eliminate a program under which some recipients automatically qualified for food stamps. It would do away with the Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility policy and impose an assets test on applicants previously approved under it.

The state Division of Welfare and Supportive Services estimates about 46,000 SNAP recipients would lose eligibility with 7,415 children on the National School Lunch Program affected.

The changes “will have devastating impacts to low-income Nevadans who make up our most vulnerable citizens – including families, children, and veterans,” Sisolak said in a statement.

A third proposed change would rewrite how utility expenses are factored into benefits, potentially increasing the standard allowance for utilities more than 4 percent. Nevada’s average SNAP benefit of $220 per household could increase by $9.44 if the change is approved. Currently 117,968 out of 221,272 SNAP households qualify and receive the standard allowance, according to the state.

Nationwide, the changes could impact some 2.2 million households and 3.7 million individual beneficiaries, according to a November estimate by the Urban Institute.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Accused murder mastermind Frank LaPena is granted a pardon - VIDEO
A onetime Las Vegas casino bell captain who spent 25 years in prison as the accused mastermind in a notorious 1974 contract murder won his last legal battle for freedom Wednesday when the state Pardons Board granted him a conditional pardon restoring all his civil rights. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Middle: Nonpartisan voters and the 2020 election
How will the growing segment of nonpartisan or independent voters — those who have not registered with either political party, or who have left partisan politics behind — vote in 2020?
Teachers union files initiative to raise Nevada’s gaming tax

An initiative to raise the top tier of the Nevada gaming tax, sponsored by the Clark County Education Association, would raise an estimated $315 million per year.