Legislation to provide food stamps to ex-drug offenders was heard in both chambers this week. HB 1589, sponsored by Representative Paul Wieland (R-Imperial), had a hearing in the House Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee on Tuesday.
SB 680, sponsored by Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City), had a hearing in the Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
Both bills would lift the lifetime federal ban on ex-drug offenders receiving food stamps. Missouri is only one of 10 states that currently deny food stamp benefits to these individuals. To receive the food stamps individuals would need to be enrolled in or have completed a drug treatment program.
Numerous individuals and organizations testified in support of these measures. The MCC supports these bills because no other group of offenders is denied food stamps. It is a form of double punishment and discrimination to prohibit this benefit to former drug users.
Neither committee took any action on the bills.
Posted: February 14, 2104