Mitchell calls for work requirement for food stamps


CLINTON — Rep. Bill Mitchell was in Clinton recently promoting his call for a work requirement for food stamp recipients.

“Illinois has a waiver for a work requirement for people who are on food stamps,” Mitchell told the Clinton Journal.  “So, if you’re an able-bodied person, somebody like me, there’s no work requirement.”

Mitchell said all of the states surrounding Illinois had some type of work requirement in order to receive food stamp benefits.  

“We now have 250,000 more people on food stamps but have the lowest unemployment rates in 25 years,” Mitchell said.

So, Mitchell said he was asking the governor eliminate the Illinois waiver.

Republican candidate for Mitchell’s Illinois House seat Dan Caulkings accompanied Mitchell on his visit to Clinton.

Caulkins said eliminating the waiver would also get people back into the workforce.

“We’ve conditioned people not to work, and we now have all these jobs that are going unfilled,” Caulkins said.

The recommended requirement is 20 hours a week work to qualify for food stamp benefits.  A recipient also could count college or technical training hours toward the requirement.

“We’re not talking about people with disabilities or the aged,” Mitchell said.  “We’re talking about the able-bodied.”