Lawmakers send Christie bill to restore food stamps waiver

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Democrat-led Legislature has passed a bill to restore a federal food stamps waiver that the Christie administration recently stopped applying for. The Assembly approved the measure Thursday to require the administration conduct a study on whether a need for the waiver exists. If it does, then the state must apply for the waiver. The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Chris Christie. The administration announced in December it would stop seeking a waiver for “able-bodied” adults without dependents for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, once called food stamps. Since 2009, New Jersey was able to waive a requirement that food-stamp recipients work at least 20 hours a week because of the struggling economy. But the administration said the state cannot continue because the economy has improved.