On Wednesday October 9th, several AOF members and other stakeholders testified as interested parties and opponents to Senate Bill 165 (Schafer R- District 20, Lancaster). Senate Bill 165 proposes additional requirements, including photo identification, for SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, intended to dissuade fraud and trafficking of SNAP cards in exchange for cash or other goods.
AOF believes in preserving the integrity of the SNAP program and that fraud and abuse should not be tolerated. However, least 18 states have considered implementing SNAP photo EBT cards but the majority never moved forward due to concerns over cost, implementation, and effectiveness. Only four states implemented these requirements. Three of those four, New York, Missouri, and Maine, abandoned the program after repeated warnings from the Trump administration that they were violating stringent rules governing the policy, and some SNAP household members, including children and seniors entitled to use the card, were wrongly denied grocery purchases because they were not pictured.
AOF concludes the lack of effectiveness of these measures in other states, the chilling effect and negative impact on SNAP recipients’ access to food assistance and ongoing administrative burdens and costs outweigh any potential illicit activity curbed, and urges the legislature and administration to pursue other strategies for combating fraud.
Read AOF’s testimony HERE
Read AOF Members and other stakeholders’ testimony HERE under October 9, SB 165