A Republican bill would restrict junk food and other items from being purchased by food stamps recipients. Those on the food share program would have to purchase nutritional foods with at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits and no luxury items, like lobster and shrimp.
Representative Andy Jorgensen (D-Milton) calls Republicans the “food police” and irresponsible with taxpayer money. “This half-baked plan will cost the taxpayer $60 million. Give our budget deficit and today’s disappointing revenue estimates, it’s irresponsible to move forward on this.”
AUDIO: (:31) Jorgensen says the measure is severely limited in what people can buy.
Assembly Democrats on the Committee on Public Benefit Reform introduced 16 amendments to the bill (AB-177). Jorgensen said the measure is severely limited with what people can buy. “I mean, Republicans fail to account for medically prescribed diets,” he says, “Republicans fail to include Wisconsin grown and Wisconsin made items.”
The bill passed through committee Wednesday (8-6) and goes to the Assembly. A similar bill was approved by the Assembly in the previous legislative session, but it didn’t get a vote in the Senate.
The federal government would need to approve the measure if it passes through the legislature. No state has ever received a waiver from the feds.