Last week, the House Children and Families Committee passed HCS HB 1238, sponsored by Rep. Bob Nance (R-Excelsior Springs). This bill would lift the federal ban and allow eligible ex-drug offenders to receive food stamps in Missouri. The federal ban was enacted in 1996 as part of the welfare reform act, but states did have the opportunity to opt out of the ban. Missouri is one of only a handful states that still deny food stamps to ex-drug offenders.
Numerous witnesses, including the MCC, testified at the bill hearing about the hardships the ban put on people who were trying to put their drug use behind them. The bill includes some requirements to obtain food stamps, such as voluntary drug testing or participating in a drug treatment program. To prevent food stamp fraud, the
committee added an amendment for Missouri to get a federal waiver to have a photo ID on all EBT cards.
The bill now goes to the full House for debate.