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3/26/2013 Messier bill would implement extra protection of SNAP benefits for EBT cardholders
STATE HOUSE – Rep. Mary Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket) has introduced legislation that would require picture identification on all electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Formerly known as the food stamps program, SNAP helps those who are struggling financially to buy food and nutritious meals. The program is the largest food and nutrition support program in Rhode Island and functions through a partnership between the state and federal governments. The House bill (2013-H 5029) would require each card containing funds for individuals participating in SNAP to feature a photo of the cardholder.

“If we have learned anything after the recession, it is that resources like SNAP are both necessary and precious,” Representative Messier said. “The photo identification on the EBT cards will simply ensure that SNAP funds are going directly to the people who are enrolled in the program and who have gone through the necessary steps to obtain assistance. We are constantly looking for ways to cut down on waste and fraud, and this is just an extra protection that could save the state money in the long run and further protect these benefits for Rhode Island’s struggling individuals and families.”

Qualification for SNAP benefits is based on income, resources and number of people who live in the applicant’s household. According to the state Department of Human Services (DHS), people may qualify for SNAP benefits if their income is less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). The legislation has been referred to the House Finance Committee.

For more information, contact:
Brenna McCabe, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457