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(Neb)-Food Stamp Expansion Killed

By: John Axtell Posted at: 04/12/2017 11:22 AM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that would have allowed more low-income Nebraska residents to qualify for food stamps has died in the Legislature. Supporters fell one vote shy Tuesday of the simple majority needed to give the measure initial approval 24-19.

      Currently, the cutoff line for what is officially the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is no more than 130% of the federal poverty level - about $26,000 for a family of 3. The bill would have raised it to 150% of the poverty level or about $32,000...letting 1,840 more  households qualify. .

      Sponsor John McCollister of Omaha touted it as creating an incentive for low-income residents to work harder or find better-paying jobs without fear of losing the benefit, but opponents cited both financial and philosophical reasons- added administrative costs and expanding an entitlement program.
 
     The bill was unlikely to pass this year because of the state's projected budget shortfall, but McCollister and other supporters had hoped state revenue would improve enough for it to receive final approval next year.


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