SB 7 retained by committee – gone until next year!

6Apr - by Indivisible - 0 - In Action

Success, thanks to all of you who contacted our reps to oppose SB7:

Senate Bill 7, often referred to as the “food stamp bill,” may eventually lose the food stamp component altogether.

But it will have to wait until next year after a House committee voted to retain the bill Tuesday. Some members that did so called the efforts to cut down assistance for New Hampshire’s food-insecure “unconscionable.”

From AFSC NH State House Watch:

SB 7, the bill that would change food stamp eligibility requirements and threaten access to nutritional food for 17,000 families and more than 40,000 children, was approved on a mostly partisan basis in the Senate yesterday. The rationale for the measure, which had already been approved once by the Senate, was thin.  For example, Senator Sharon Carson asserted that the food stamp (or SNAP) program is riddled with fraud and abuse.  Despite Senator Dan Feltes’ response that the bill is about eligibility restrictions, not fraud prevention, the new requirements were approved 13-10, with Senator John Reagan joining the unified Senate Democrats in opposition.

The bill was amended to add a work program for low-income residents.  The workforce program amendment passed in a bipartisan vote of 12-11. More on this story from John DiStaso at WMUR.  We are hopeful that the House will be receptive to arguments that there is no reason for New Hampshire to turn down federal funds which are being used to provide nutritional assistance for low-income working families with children.

From the WMUR story:

The Senate GOP majority, without the support of the Democrats, passed legislation that would impose a work requirement on able-bodied, childless food stamp recipients and tighten the eligibility requirements from 185 percent to 130 percent of the poverty level.