food stamp programs

Ohio Statehouse
Andy Chow / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio House and Senate leaders are forging ahead with their versions of the state budget while kicking off a few new initiatives in the coming week. That includes first hearings for several health and human services issues. 

Republican Sen. Bill Coley is introducing a bill that ends Medicaid expansion for any new enrollees, something conservatives are considering in the midst of looming federal cuts.

USDA

A new bill in the Ohio Legislature aims to crack down on food stamp fraud.

Republican Sen. Bill Coley has a message for people who shouldn’t be getting food stamps but are.

“Stop it. Stop it right now because we are going to catch you and when we catch you, you are looking at criminal prosecution.”

photo of Dave Yost
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill to add the photos of food stamp recipients to their electronic benefit transfer or EBT cards. The idea is to stop food stamp fraud.

State Auditor Dave Yost reported on food stamp fraud last year but says he still isn’t sure how much fraud is in the system. That’s why he’s backing this bill.

“We believe this will be helpful to avoid trafficking in cards. We know that there are trafficking in food benefits that are happening around the state, and a photograph is a simple straight forward way to deter that.”

photo of Dave Yost
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

State Auditor Dave Yost has shared his recent limited audit of the federal food stamp program in Ohio with a congressional committee.

Yost’s limited review of Ohioans who are part of the federal SNAP or food stamp program showed there could be some fraud in the system. He identified 36 dead people who were receiving benefits and, in some cases, someone was still using the card. While he admits fraud is not widespread, he says it needs to be addressed.

Lisa Hamler Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Advocates for poor Ohioans are calling on Gov. John Kasich to take action now to get more federal money for food programs. 

The head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the state should request a federal waiver that would allow more dollars to flow to agencies that help provide food for Ohio’s poorest citizens. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt says for the past three years, the state hasn’t applied for that help. And she says that means Ohio hasn’t been able to maximize its potential to get food for low-income people.

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