The state Assembly is expected to vote on several bills Tuesday that would make changes to Wisconsin’s FoodShare program.
Sponsors of the legislation have said the measures are aimed at reducing fraud in the program, which provides financial assistance for participants to purchase food. Critics contend they are expensive solutions designed to address problems that do not really exist.
Among the bills is a proposal from Rep. Jess Kremer (R-Kewaskum), which would require those using a FoodShare account to have their picture displayed on their card. The Kewaskum Republicans argues it would help to prevent people from trafficking their cards and stop someone else from using it to claim their benefits.
Several groups oppose the bill because they question how effective it would actually be in preventing fraud. Hunger Task Force executive director Sherrie Tussler notes that cards are already protected by a PIN, and that’s not something most people who rely on benefits are willing to hand over. She also questions the cost of the program in relation to any possible savings, arguing “it doesn’t make sense to invest $7.4 million in putting photos on people’s food stamp cards.”
The other two bills up for a vote today would require the state to monitor those who frequently request replacement cards and reduce the amount of time funds can build up in an account.