CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Almost everyone who spoke at a public hearing about a bill about eligibility and fraud requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other public benefits came out against the proposed changes.

Hours later, the House Judiciary Committee passed the bill. It now goes to the House floor.

Most of those who spoke at the morning hearing said the bill would provide greater barriers to those who barely get by.

“If you want people to work, the answer is increased food security,” said Chantal Fields of West Virginians for Affordable Healthcare. “Being healthy and not hungry helps people get work and stay productive.”

The bill would define work requirements and require an identity card as a condition to receive public assistance, among other changes. It would also track out-of-state spending on SNAP benefits, commonly called food stamps.One of the limitations would mean that able-bodied adults without dependents would be able to receive SNAP benefits for only three months of every three years.

The Department of Health and Human Resources is supposed to report back to the Legislature by 2020 the employment impact of the bill if it should go into effect.

The House Judiciary Committee began discussing the bill right after this morning’s public hearing and, with several breaks along with long discussion, finally voted it out about 7:30 p.m. .

The committee was considering a bill that changed some aspects of what was originally introduced, mixing in some changes that had been proposed by the Department of Health and Human Resources.