March 29, 2018 Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH 0Comment

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed legislation this week that will impose new requirements on the very low-income adults who receive food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill rescinds the authority of WV’s Department of Health and Human Resources to issue waivers to SNAP recipients from the federal work requirements for able-bodied working adults who do not have dependents. Waivers had been issued, for example, for individuals living in areas with  unemployment rates above 10 percent or a lack of sufficient jobs. The annual income cut-off for an individual eligible for SNAP benefits is $15,444.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Justice’s office didn’t issue any statement about the new law. Rick Wilson at Goat Rope makes this observation:

“….anyone else sees the irony or something when the richest person in the state, who also happens to be governor, refuses to veto a bill that will take away food assistance from thousands of West Virginians with very low incomes during Holy Week?”

The WV Governor’s estimated net worth is $1.73 Billion. One of Justice’s assets is the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV.  Goat Rope’s Rick Wilson poke around on the resort’s website and found these offerings: a first course bisque at $9, a second course risotto at $15, a lamb shank entree for $49, and a $14 chocolate souffle. He writes:

“SNAP benefits amount to around $4 per day per person. …The cost of one big feed for one person at the Greenbrier is equivalent to what someone on SNAP gets to live on for about 47 days.”




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