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State Lawmakers Asking Walker to Preserve FoodShare Benefits
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/28/2014

State Reps. Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point and Evan Goyke from Milwaukee, in conjunction with Hunger Task Force and the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association, are proposing legislation to protect low-income Wisconsinites from the impending cuts to food stamps in the recent farm bill. They say the farm program effectively slashed FoodShare benefits for 255,000 Wisconsin households when the income eligibility requirements for the federal 'Heat and Eat' program were adjusted.

"Wisconsin should not stand idly by as Congress makes spending cuts on the backs of our most vulnerable residents," Rep. Shankland said. "A family already living on the poverty line simply cannot sustain $100 a month in cuts to their grocery budget. Wisconsin shouldn't make them choose between putting food on the table or gas in their tank to get to work."

Supporters say governors in half of the 16 states targeted by the Heat and Eat cuts have already acted to stop cuts by putting together their own local programs. Shankland and Goyke's legislation will raise the annual amount of federal dollars Wisconsin allocates for Heat and Eat assistance from $1 to $21 per household. According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, allocating $5.4 million of federal funds to the Heat and Eat program would preserve $276.2 million in FoodShare benefits for Wisconsin families with no state money being used.

The two Democratic lawmakers say the Assembly has now adjourned without taking action on the bill, but stressed that Governor Walker retains the authority to implement the same measure with an Executive Order.

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