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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Senate has voted 27-6 to impose the federal 20-hour weekly work requirement for many food stamp recipients statewide.

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It would apply to people ages 18 to 49 who aren’t pregnant, disabled or military veterans, have no dependent children and get Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Currently, 46 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have waivers from the work requirement.

Advocates say it will help eliminate fraud and get people back to work, even if only volunteer work.

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The bill previously passed the House 78-19.

Opponents say it will push struggling poor people out of the food stamps program, cut federal funding and grocery spending in West Virginia and increase demand on its food pantries.

They say that was the main effect of a nine-county pilot program.

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