Okla. Senate panel OKs food stamp work mandates

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - It could eventually be more difficult for some people in Oklahoma to qualify for food stamps.

Certain food stamp recipients would be required to work at least 20 hours per week under a bill that easily cleared a Senate panel, despite concern from Democrats who argue that the bill chips away at safety nets for low-income people.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services voted 6-2 on Monday for the bill by House Speaker T.W. Shannon. It would apply to able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 50 and who are without children.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.

It's one of several measures being pushed by Republican legislators this session that target programs for needy Oklahomans.

Another one of Shannon's bills approved by the committee directs money in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to be used to fund pro-marriage public service announcements.

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