FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Jake Wheatley
PITTSBURGH, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said the Corbett administration is wrong to impose an asset test for people who receive food stamp benefits. Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander made the announcement today.
"The Corbett administration is trying to spin this as 'relaxing guidelines' since they had floated the idea of an even harsher asset test. In fact, this is a newly imposed requirement for poor, elderly and disabled people who can least afford it," Wheatley said.
"Pennsylvania already has a means test that limits the program based on income. There is no need to kick people who are already down in this economy by forcing them to spend what little savings they have before providing help with a basic human need – food."
Wheatley said the Corbett plan will cost taxpayer dollars to administer while not delivering results -- Pennsylvania is already a role model for other states when it comes to preventing fraud and waste.
In addition, 35 other states -- many with Republican governors -- do not require an asset test for food aid.
"This new Corbett asset test will punish seniors who are saving for medical or funeral costs as well as working parents saving for education expenses," Wheatley said.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell outlined reasons for opposing the asset test plan in a letter to Gov. Corbett last week.