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Nebraska Senator introduces bill to help SNAP recipients find better-paying work

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Tom Joyce

(The Center Square) - U.S. Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Nebraska, introduced legislation he hopes will help food stamp recipients.

Ricketts introduced the SNAP Next Step Act this week. It would offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients access to "resources to move them forward in their careers, better their financial situations, and eventually reduce dependence on government assistance," according to a press release from Ricketts's office.

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“SNAP Next Step worked in Nebraska and will help workers across America take the next step toward improving their financial situations,” Ricketts said. “During my time as governor, this program helped workers find better employment, increase monthly income, and reduce or eliminate need for government assistance. I am eager to work with my colleagues to make this proven Nebraska solution a reality for workers across the country.”

The bill would help SNAP recipients access job search coaching, interview preparation and resume writing, to help them find jobs. It would use already-available SNAP Administrative funds to fund the program, making it cost-neutral. It would enroll these recipients in already-existing Department of Labor Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Programs. 

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The bill also tells states to create benefits calculators that show participants "the real-world impacts of increased wages on eligibility for all government assistance programs," according to the release.

The bill is modeled after a 2016 Nebraska law that Ricketts signed during his tenure as governor. His office said it increased family incomes and reduced food stamp use.

The bill can be read here.