In December, a group of state Senators in Georgia introduced legislation that would mandate participation in “personal growth activities” for those otherwise eligible for food stamps to retain eligibility. The language is vague about what constitutes a “personal growth activity,” so on the face of it, this requirement doesn’t appear to be as difficult to meet as, for example, the education requirement being considered by the House of Representatives in their UI extension proposal.
I have no idea whether this bill is likely to become law. But it’s interesting to keep track of proposals like this, i.e. proposals to link eligibility for certain government benefits programs with participation in adult education activities.
Here is the full text of the proposed amendment (the new language is underlined):
Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public assistance, is amended in Article 1, relating to general provisions, by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
(a) In order to be eligible for food stamps, an applicant shall engage in personal growth activities, which may include, but not be limited to, working toward a general educational development (GED) diploma, if not a high school graduate; pursuing technical education; attending self-development classes; and enrolling in an adult literacy class.
(b) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the requirements of this Code section.
(c) This Code section shall not apply to an applicant who is employed at least 40 hours per week.
(d) The commissioner may, by regulation, waive or alter the requirements of this Code section for cases or situations in which the commissioner finds that compliance with the requirements would be oppressive or inconsistent with the purposes of this article.“
The bill also amends a section of Title 49 related to TANF administration, so that “personal growth activities” programs are included in the “personal responsibility obligations” required of TANF recipients, and, similar to the provision above, adds “working toward a general educational development (GED) diploma, if not a high school graduate; pursuing technical education; attending self-development classes; and enrolling in an adult literacy class” as examples of such acitvities. I’m not familiar enough with Georgia TANF administration to know whether that language would be likely to support more TANF recipients to enroll in adult education.