Food stamp food ban clears house panel

Jan 30, 2012

A proposal limiting when, for what and where the state’s food assistance benefit can be used has passed a House committee. Lynn Hatter reports the move comes after a report on the misuse of the electronic benefits card, or EBT.

Bill sponsor Republican Representative Scott Plakon of Longwood, says he first heard about the abuse of the state’s food assistance program from a news report down in Fort Meyers.

“These EBT cards were being used at a lot of different places that taxpayers weren’t aware—strip clubs, gambling locations, down in Miami at a $3,300 at a liquor store...”

So Plakon has filed a bill to outlaw those abuses. But he also takes it a step further, by limiting what foods would be covered under the program as well. That part of the bill didn’t sit well with several members of the House Health Access Committee—and although the bill did clear, lawmakers say the food limits will be taken out of the bill at its next committee stop.