Oklahoma's Republican legislators this session are seeking changes in federal assistance programs that are popular among low-income and needy Oklahomans.
The Legislature last year passed a measure subjecting welfare recipients to drug tests. So far this year nearly a dozen measures have been introduced targeting assistance programs.
Some of the bills create new requirements for those who receive assistance. They include making recipients work more hours, or prohibit certain people, such as those convicted of drug crimes or with $5,000 or more in assets, from receiving benefits.
House Speaker T.W. Shannon has a bill that would require able-bodied, childless adults under 50 to spend a minimum of 35 hours per week engaged in "work activities" before receiving food stamps. He says he wants to encourage "personal responsibility."