Under a bill signed by Governor Nixon late last week, Missouri will relax its lifetime ban on providing food assistance to people who have served time for felony drug offenses. SB 680, sponsored by Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City), will allow people with three or fewer past drug felonies to receive food stamps if they meet certain conditions, such a passing a drug test, enrolling or completing a drug treatment program, or being determined not to need such treatment.
Missouri was one of ten states that still had the lifetime ban enacted as part of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. States did have the ability to “opt out” of the ban and over the years most states rejected the harsh restriction.
The Missouri Catholic Conference, along with Catholic Charities St. Louis, and the Missouri Association for Social Welfare were among numerous groups that advocated for many years to lift the ban. The MCC thanks all the network members who contacted their legislator in support of the bill. This was a victory long in the making!
Posted: June 27, 2014