06-25-2018  4:38 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Photographer David Goldblatt, who chronicled apartheid, dies

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — David Goldblatt, a South African photographer who for decades chronicled the harsh fallout of white minority rule in his country, has died at the age of 87.The Johannesburg-based Goodman Gallery says he died "peacefully" at his home in the city early Monday.The gallery...

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R., rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Ben & Jerry's factory display honors civil rights campaign

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's has unveiled a new display at its Vermont factory dedicated to civil rights.MyChamplainValley.com reports the display revealed at the Waterbury factory Friday honors Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 Poor People's Campaign.The display was...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

College sports doctors under new scrutiny amid scandals

Allegations of sexual abuse carried out over decades by team physicians at Michigan State and Ohio State are...

Koreas discuss removing North's artillery from tense border

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The rival Koreas are discussing the possible relocation of North Korea's...

The Latest: Spain: Over 1,000 rescued at sea in last 3 days

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on the flow of migrants into Europe (all times local):12:10 p.m.Spanish...

Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded...

By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

As of Jan 1, the clock started ticking for thousands of Oregonians who could lose their food stamps.

People in Multnomah and Washington counties will be placed under a time limit: they can receive three months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits once every three years.

They can continue receiving SNAP benefits if they work at least 20 hours per week and report to DHS. If they are not working or do not have a qualifying exemption, they will lose their food assistance as early as April 1, 2016.

Annie Kirschner, the program director for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, said the new rule change will be devastating for those living in poverty.

“A lot of people will struggle and ultimately go hungry as a result of this,” Kirschner said.

The rule change will affect able-bodied adults without dependents between the ages of 18 and 49 who live in Multnomah and Washington counties, who earn less than $935.25 per month. Kirschner said these Oregonians are often the poorest of the poor, living far below the poverty line and on the brink of homelessness.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank, 82 percent of able-bodied adults without dependents receiving SNAP make less than $5,885 a year. The average income for this group is $2,200 per year, or 19 percent of the federal poverty level.

The new rules for the time limits for SNAP benefits are actually policies stemming from the Clinton-era national welfare reform law of 1996. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act implemented time limits on assistance and workfare policies intended to move people out of poverty.

Oregon was exempt from the federal rules because the state unemployment rate was higher than the national average. As the unemployment rate declined in Multnomah and Washington counties, the 1996 rules now apply.

If the unemployment levels drop in other Oregon counties, they could face similar SNAP time limits in 2017.

Kirschner said the 1996 law had the goal of creating work requirements for welfare recipients and the goal of creating job opportunities for those in poverty. She said that in the years after the law, the restrictions were created, but the jobs and training programs were not.

Participation in workforce training also allows people to keep their food stamps, but states are not required to set up these programs. In 2015 only five states offered a qualified training placement to every non-disabled childless adult: Colorado, Delaware, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Kirschner said Oregon will not be able to guarantee thousands of jobs or job training opportunities; instead those people will most likely lose their SNAP benefits.

“The infrastructure isn't there to carry through on the stated value of trying to support people living out of poverty,” she said. “Instead it really is just creating further hardship for people who are already vulnerable.”

Kirschner said post-recession Oregonians also deal with high hunger rates and rising housing costs that make these SNAP time limits particularly hard hitting.

At the end of November the Oregon Department of Human services sent out 32,000 notification letters about the time limit and work requirements. DHS estimates that 9,600 SNAP participants will need to comply or lose their benefits.

Kirschner said if a person has received a notice or is afraid of losing benefits, that person should contact DHS immediately, preferably before the time limit begins on Jan 1.

The phone number for the Multnomah County DHS is (971) 673-2422. For Washington County it is (503) 693-4769. These phone numbers will go to SNAP specialists who can help people keep benefits if they have qualifying exemptions.

These exemptions include pregnancy, disability, going to school half-time, participation in a drug treatment program, receiving unemployment and working over 20 hours a week.

The law also allows people to continue receiving benefits if they are volunteering 20 hours a week. Kirschner said the state is currently trying to set up formalized volunteer locations, but there are no placements ready right now.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon are also reaching out to homeless providers, mental health and health care providers as well as social service agencies. They are urging them help their clients work with DHS SNAP caseworkers to maintain their benefits.

Kirschner said the whole social service community in the Portland area will be affected by the loss of SNAP benefits to the thousands of people in Multnomah and Washington counties.

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon are also encouraging Oregonians to contact their federal legislators to urge them to repeal the 1996 food stamp time limit. Kirschner said that the intent of the law was to help people out of poverty, but the results of the rule push people farther into hardship.

“It's not okay for anyone in Oregon to experience hunger,” Kirschner said. “This law needs to be changed.”

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