February 21, 2022

Lawmakers back off plan to restrict food stamps for overdue child support

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A proposed measure would have ended Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits – food stamps – to anyone who was delinquent in child support payments. - (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

A proposed measure would have ended Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits – food stamps – to anyone who was delinquent in child support payments.

(Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Lawmakers Monday backed off a plan to cut off food stamps to Hoosiers who owe child support.

A Senate committee changed a proposed bill into merely a study committee topic.

The proposed measure, HB 1354, would have ended Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP benefits – food stamps – to anyone who was delinquent in child support payments.

But advocates for low-income Hoosiers said that harms more than it helps. Indiana PTA President Rachel Burke said SNAP benefits are fundamentally about feeding children.

“We have very serious concerns with any time that food is weaponized against children,” Burke said.

 

 

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Bill author Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) said the state is updating the technical side of its child support system – and his measure needs more time to develop.

“Our prosecutors really aren’t ready to take on the workload that they have going right now,” DeVon said.

The bill’s passage is still not a guarantee that the topic would be studied this year.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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