COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legal advocates for the poor have filed a civil rights complaint with the federal government over Ohio’s move to waive work requirements for food stamp beneficiaries in certain counties while enforcing them in most.
The Legal Aid Society of Columbus and others filed the administrative complaint Friday with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, against Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) administration.

The advocates claim the waiver has benefited rural counties with mostly white recipients, while adversely affecting minorities in urban areas.

State officials reinstated the work rules last year, citing an improved economy. Adults without dependent children must spend at least 20 hours working, job training or volunteering to get food stamps.

Sixteen high-unemployment counties were exempt.

State officials say they are working with counties to support Ohioans transitioning off food assistance.