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Missouri House passes penalties for food stamps program

Lawmakers voted 107-43 Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate. (FILE)

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri House passed legislation to require parents receiving food stamps to comply with work requirements or face losing benefits.

Lawmakers voted 107-43 Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate.

The measure is aimed at requiring able-bodied parents aided by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to seek work or job training.

People who fail to meet federal work requirements would be disqualified from the program for three months for the first violation and six months for a second violation.

A third violation would mean a loss of food assistance for two years.

Republican backers argued the change could push people away from dependency on government help. Although the bill wouldn’t take away children’s benefits, Democratic critics said practically speaking it would hurt them by removing their parents’ aid.

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