Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mayor reverses course on food stamps waiver

A day after The New York Times reported New York City would permit unemployed, able-bodied adults without children to receive food stamps for over three months in any three-year period, Mayor Michael Bloomberg reversed course. This time limit can be waived by cities with high unemployment rates, like Chicago, Washington, and New York. Of eligible cities, New York is one of only a handful not to exercise the waiver.

The mayor’s apparent flip-flop comes after Human Resources Administration Commissioner Verna Eggleston sent a request to the state for the waiver. Despite a proclaimed effort to fight poverty in his second term, dislike of public assistance programs may have been at the heart of the mayor’s decision. The far right hailed the mayor’s ultimate decision, while anti-poverty advocates were stunned and concerned.

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