California Joins Suit to Stop Cuts to Food Stamps

California Joins Suit to Stop Cuts to Food Stamps

Sacramento

In response to the Trump Administration’s announced intent to cut more than 700,000 people nationally from the federal food stamp program, California has joined New York and a coalition of fourteen other states in a legal fight to block the proposed cuts.  The administration’s proposed change calendared for next year would impact adults between the ages of 18 and 49 years who do not have dependents. Currently, states are authorized to grant food stamp benefits to such individuals who do not maintain steady jobs for a variety of reasons. The administration’s new rules would prevent states from providing food assistance to these individuals.  If implemented the new rule could impact food security for as many as 380,000 Californians in just the first year.  The lawsuit is rooted in the premise that the president’s rule change weighs against the food stamp programs primary goal of relieving the burden of hunger and malnutrition. The measure could have broad implications because it would allow for the designation of geographic areas as “labor plus areas” when the unemployment rates are low—this could impact needy populations in entire regions.   Attorney General Becerra complained the administration’s proposed change would force some individuals to choose between a hot meal and paying their rent. He concluded, “[T]his latest Trump Administration attack on low-income Americans will force them to do just that.”

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