MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama is accepting comments on its proposal to put a work requirement on 74,000 Medicaid recipients.

The Alabama Medicaid Agency opened a new public comment period on the proposal.

The proposal would require 35 hours of work, job training, education or volunteer service each week. Exceptions would be made for people with young or disabled children

The proposal only impacts a small number of Medicaid recipients, able-bodied parents and caretakers who qualify because their income is less than 18 percent of the federal poverty level. Most Medicaid beneficiaries in the state are children, disabled or elderly.

State officials wrote that the requirement will improve the health and economic stability of recipients.

Advocacy groups criticize the proposal, saying it would cause the "poorest of the poor" to lose their health care.