Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Proposed elimination of LIHEAP funding elicits concern, By David Blanchette, June 7, 2017, State Journal-Register: “President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal 2018 would eliminate federal funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a 40-year-old grant program that helps low-income households pay their utility bills and avoid shutoffs during winter cold or summer heat. If approved by Congress, the move could affect 6.7 million American families, including more than 330,000 in Illinois…”

State Medicaid Programs – Kansas, Alabama

  • Disability group calling for federal investigation of Medicaid backlog, By Gabriella Dunn, July 12, 2016, Wichita Eagle: “A state disability organization is calling on the federal government to investigate the state’s handling of the application backlog for Medicaid. And this week, the Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit will begin an investigation into the backlog issue. The backlog was caused in part by the state switching its computer system that processes Medicaid applications about a year ago. And then in January, it switched the agency that oversees the applications, furthering the problem…”
  • Alabama’s Medicaid crisis: Four ways out, By Brian Lyman, July 15, 2016, Montgomery Advertiser: “Legislators don’t lack options to address a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid program.  But what they do lack — for now — is leadership in the Alabama House and a certainty about whether the will exists among legislators to reopen the General Fund budget…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Deep cuts could be on table as Congress re-evaluates food stamp program, By Michael Marks, February 24, 2015, Dallas Morning News: “Eat or fix the car.  That was one of the choices Dylan Carter faced before signing up for the federal Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The 24-year-old from Frisco received $200 per month while looking for a job until, after two months, he became a door-to-door salesman.  ‘You can actually pay your bills,’ Carter said. ‘It’s $200 in your pocket that normally you wouldn’t have. It’s tough out there, so every little bit helps.’  Advocates say that’s the kind of assistance the program is designed to provide: helping people stay on their feet in tough times. And they’re concerned about potential cuts and changes as the U.S. House begins a series of hearings Wednesday to re-evaluate the program…”

States and Cuts to SNAP

Cuts to food stamps will only hit Wisconsin, 3 other states, By Mary Clare Jalonick (AP), September 17, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting Wisconsin and three other states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found. As a result, it’s unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had advertised…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Another round of food stamp cuts in states, By Jake Grovum, March 26, 2014, Stateline: “A fresh round of food stamp cuts at the state level are underway, on top of federal food stamp reductions that hit millions of Americans twice since November. In some states, policymakers have imposed additional cuts that jeopardize benefits for hundreds of thousands. The impact of the reductions is just beginning to take hold, or soon will…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • States resist food stamp cuts, By Jake Grovum, March 17, 2014, Stateline: “Using a wrinkle in federal law, at least seven states and the District of Columbia are blocking as much as $1.2 billion in food stamp cuts, preserving federal benefits for millions of people who otherwise would have had them cut by about $90 each month. Of the 14 states and the District of Columbia affected by the cuts, at least seven states (Connecticut, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont) plus D.C. are moving to block them, according to a Stateline survey. The others — California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin — are considering doing the same…”
  • Who uses food stamps? Millions of children, By Allison Linn, March 17, 2014, NBC News: “Tens of millions of American children are among the recipients of food stamps, according to a new report that casts light on who benefits from the program that has been the subject of heated political debate. The annual report from the United States Department of Agriculture showed that about 45 percent of food stamp benefits went to children under 18, totaling about 20 million youngsters. Nine percent of recipients were age 60 or older, and nearly 10 percent were disabled adults who were under 60, according to the analysis of food stamp usage for the fiscal year that ended in September 2012…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • States finding ways to skirt cuts in food stamps, frustrating congressional goals, By Derek Wallbank and Alan Bjerga, March 9, 2014, Washington Post: “Congress last month passed a revamp of agriculture and food policy that was supposed to save the U.S. government $8.6 billion in food-stamp costs over a decade. That may not happen, though, now that some states are finding a way to avoid the cuts. New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are triggering extra nutrition spending by adding money to a home-heating subsidy tied to increased food-stamp aid. The move feeds needy families while thwarting spending-reduction goals…”
  • Ohio to begin staggering release of food stamps, By Catherine Candisky, March 9, 2014, Columbus Dispatch: “Ohio will begin staggering distribution of food-stamp benefits next month. The change comes at the request of grocers who say stores are swamped at the beginning of each month, creating long lines, shortages of produce and other items, and the need for additional staff. Like many groceries, Buehler’s Fresh Foods in Delaware is busiest the first week of each month when many people receive their paychecks, Social Security benefits or food stamps…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Pennsylvania

In surprising move, Corbett forestalls deep cuts in food stamps, By Alfred Lubrano, March 6, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer: “In a move that surprised even his most cynical critics, Gov. Corbett on Wednesday night forestalled an estimated $3 billion in cuts to food stamps in the state over the next 10 years. By doing so, Corbett became the first Republican governor in the country to prevent the cuts ordered by Congress, which is looking to slash $8.6 billion over the next decade to the food-stamp program, now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The governor’s decision will preserve benefits for 400,000 Pennsylvania households slated to lose a monthly average of $60 to $65 each in benefits, amounting to $300 million a year, said Kait Gillis, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Welfare…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Farm bill would trim food stamps, shift crop subsidies, By Mary Clare Jalonick (AP), January 29, 2014, Boston Globe: “Farm-state lawmakers are lobbying colleagues member by member, vote by vote as they push for House passage of a massive, five-year bill that would make cuts to food stamps and continue generous subsidies for farmers. There are goodies scattered through the almost 1,000-page bill for members from all regions of the country: a boost in money for crop insurance popular in the Midwest; higher rice and peanut subsidies for Southern farmers; renewal of federal land payments for Western states. There are cuts to the food stamp program — $800 million a year, or around 1 percent — for Republicans who say the program is spending too much money, but they are low enough that some Democrats will support them…”
  • Bill boosts farmers, cuts food stamps, By Jerry Zremski, January 28, 2014, Buffalo News: “A bipartisan Farm Bill that’s soon to be voted on in Congress looks like a boon to farmers of Western New York – at the expense of food stamp recipients in cities like Buffalo. The bill, which House and Senate negotiators completed late Tuesday, provides a new insurance program for growers of ‘specialty crops’ such as the apples from Niagara County’s orchards, while apparently protecting upstate dairy farmers from the worst of the deep cuts in farm support programs. Meanwhile, though, a complex change in the food stamp program could reduce benefits for 300,000 New York households, according to the office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • 850,000 may have $90 less in food stamps, By Jennifer Liberto, January 17, 2014, CNNMoney: “A deal on food stamps in Congress could trim as much as $90 a month from 850,000 of the nation’s poorest who seek help to buy groceries. The measure is part of the latest farm bill and aims to cut about $9 billion from food stamps over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Research Service. It’s less than the $39 billion that Republicans had wanted to cut from the program; but double what Democrats had suggested…”
  • Food banks anticipate impact of cuts to food stamps, By Ron Nixon, January 21, 2014, New York Times: “Late last year, staff members at the Capital Area Food Bank here began fielding requests for larger deliveries from the dozens of soup kitchens and food pantries that it supplies as more and more people showed up seeking help. The food bank said it was not unusual to see a surge before Thanksgiving or Christmas. But this time the lines were caused not by the holidays but by a $5 billion cut to the federal food stamp program that took effect in November when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill expired. Now the food bank, which provided about 45 million pounds of food last year, says it is preparing for even greater demand as Congress prepares to cut billions of dollars more from the food stamp program, which is included in a farm bill that has yet to pass. About 47 million Americans receive food stamps…”

Section 8 Housing – Minnesota

Cuts in federal rent aid are squeezing Minnesota’s poor, By Chris Serres, January 16, 2014, Minneapolis-St. Paul Start Tribune: “Brittannea Stevenson felt like she had ‘won the lottery’ on the day she qualified for federal rental assistance after a two-year wait. A cashier at a Mankato Wal-Mart, Stevenson imagined finally buying her first car and a new pair of work shoes. She spent 60 grueling days scouring the North Mankato area, by public transit and taxi, for an affordable apartment and a landlord willing to accept her rental voucher, which would cover two-thirds of her rent. But her search ended quite unexpectedly two weeks before Christmas, when her unused voucher was revoked because of budget cuts enacted by Congress last year…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Families feel the pangs of SNAP cuts, By Lolly Bowean, Juan Perez Jr. and Vikki Ortiz Healy, November 10, 2013, Chicago Tribune: “It wasn’t until years after Amy Jezler lost her job at the Salvation Army and her family lost their south suburban home to foreclosure that money got so tight she had to resort to signing up for food stamps. And even then, it was difficult to visit the Family Community Resource Center in Blue Island and ask for help, Jezler said. ‘I was always taught to do it on your own,’ the Park Forest resident said. ‘I was getting to the point where it was harder and harder. (I had) to make the decision: Do I pay bills this month, or do I eat?’ For a year and a half, Jezler has collected $193 a month from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to help feed her husband, who has been in and out of work, and her 10-year-old daughter, she said. But on Thursday, she learned her food stamp benefits had been slashed by $30…”
  • Should Oregon pay $1.5 million to put photos on food stamps, welfare cards? Lawmakers consider fraud reduction options, By Yuxing Zheng, November 14, 2013, The Oregonian: “It would cost Oregon at least $1.5 million in the first year and about $930,000 annually after that to put photographs of cardholders on the Oregon Trail cards used by food stamps and welfare recipients. That’s the estimate recently heard by lawmakers on an interim legislative work group considering methods of reducing public assistance fraud. A May audit from the Secretary of State’s office found that hundreds of Oregonians who were deceased, incarcerated, or won the lottery benefited from one of three public assistance programs intended for low-income individuals…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Cut in food stamps forces hard choices on poor, By Kim Severson and Winnie Hu, November 7, 2013, New York Times: “For many, a $10 or $20 cut in the monthly food budget would be absorbed with little notice. But for millions of poor Americans who rely on food stamps, reductions that began this month present awful choices. One gallon of milk for the kids instead of two. No fresh broccoli for dinner or snacks to take to school. Weeks of grits and margarine for breakfast. And for many, it will mean turning to a food pantry or a soup kitchen by the middle of the month…”
  • Deep cuts to food stamp program started Friday, By Devon Merling, November 7, 2013, Deseret News: “As of last Friday, Nov. 1, 48 million Americans who receive money to buy vouchers under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as ‘food stamps,’ will see a cut to their monthly benefits…”
  • Food stamp reductions: N.J. recipients finding it harder to feed families, By Jason Grant, November 5, 2013, Star-Ledger: “The lines are growing deeper across New Jersey at soup kitchens, some volunteers say, in the wake of recent cuts to the federal food stamp program. At grocery stores, such as the C-Town supermarket in Newark, anxious words are filling the air: The cuts that came down Friday — the result of a rollback to increased benefits under President Obama’s 2008 economic stimulus bill — are what many customers are talking about, a cashier says…”
  • Cuts to food stamps will mean increased demand at area food pantries, By Jamie Munks, November 6, 2013, Glens Falls Post-Star: “Cuts to the federal food stamp program that took effect Friday have caused anxiety among local people who receive the benefits and those who run food pantries. The cuts to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, widely known as food stamps, began last week with the sunset of higher benefits that were part of the 2009 federal stimulus package meant to help Americans through the recession…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • As cuts to food stamps take effect, more trims to benefits are expected, By Catherine Rampell, October 31, 2013, New York Times: “Starting Friday, millions of Americans receiving food stamps will be required to get by with less government assistance every month, a move that not only will cost them money they use to feed their families but is expected to slightly dampen economic growth as well. Cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, popularly referred to as food stamps, reflect the lapse of a temporary increase created by the administration’s stimulus program in 2009…”
  • Food stamp cuts set to kick in Friday as Congress debates billions in further reductions, By Mary Clare Jalonick (AP), November 1, 2013, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune: “More than 47 million Americans who receive food stamps will see their benefits go down starting Friday, just as Congress has begun negotiations on further cuts to the program. Beginning in November, a temporary benefit from the 2009 economic stimulus that boosts food stamp dollars will no longer be available. According to the Agriculture Department, that means a family of four receiving food stamps will start receiving $36 less a month…”
  • Automatic cut in federal food stamps kicks in today, By Virginia Young, November 1, 2013, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “People living in poverty could find it harder to pay the grocery bill this month. An across-the-board 5.5 percent cut in food stamps takes effect today. Benefits are being scaled back because of the expiration of a temporary boost passed by Congress in 2009 to help people during the recession…”
  • How food stamp cuts affect your state, By Jake Grovum, November 1, 2013, Stateline: “The record number of Americans relying on federal aid to put food on the table will have to make do with less starting today, as a recession-era boost to food stamps officially expires. Benefits are being reduced by about 5 percent beginning Nov. 1 for all of the nearly 47.7 million Americans on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Food stamp demand rises in Minnesota as budget shrinks, By Jennifer Brooks, October 28, 2013, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “It’s the Wednesday dinner rush at the Friends in Need food shelf and a little girl stares wide-eyed at tables piled high with fresh fruits and vegetables. ‘Can we have some carrots? I love carrots,’ she asked a volunteer, who smiled and filled a bag for the family to add to their cart, next to donations of canned goods, cereal, milk, apples and baked goods in St. Paul Park. More than 554,000 Minnesotans get federal food assistance — one out of every 10 people in the state. A third are children. Another quarter are elderly or disabled adults. Contrary to popular stereotypes, a majority live in families where at least one adult earns a paycheck…”
  • Cuts coming to food stamp program with more proposed, but how far should they go?, By Cliff Pinckard, October 29, 2013, Cleveland Plain Dealer: “There are more than 47 million people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), better known as food stamps. It’s a number that has doubled during the past decade, according to UPI. Just over 1.8 million people in Ohio use food stamps, according to 2012 data. The program costs the government $75 billion annually. But cuts are coming. A 13.6 percent boost that was part of the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will expire on Friday. That will mean a cost reduction of $5 billion in 2014 and about $11 billion through 2016 for the federal government, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It also will tighten the budgets of food stamp recipients…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Anxiety among families, providers as stimulus-funded increase in food stamps is set to expire, By Rik Stevens (AP), October 10, 2013, Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune: “A temporary increase in food stamps expires Oct. 31, meaning for millions of Americans, the benefits that help put food on the table won’t stretch as far as they have for the past four years. Food stamps — actually the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — go to 47 million Americans a month, almost half of them children and teenagers…”
  • Food stamp funding dwindles as demand swells, By Anita Wadhwani, October 10, 2013, The Tennessean: “Just west of downtown Nashville, a few blocks to the north of a gourmet marshmallow store, craft distillery, coffee shop and art galleries in Marathon Village, a long line of mostly women and young kids waited on a hot afternoon to fill up cardboard boxes with fresh greens, fruits and canned goods. The food giveaway by nonprofit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee came during the last week of the month — a few days after Kara Bellenger’s September food stamp allotment had run out. The 21-year-old mother is attending a community college program to become a crime scene investigator and said she hasn’t been able to find part-time work to support her 2-year-old son…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • States move ahead with food stamp cuts, By Jake Grovum, September 23, 2013, Stateline: “Some states are already embracing deep cuts to the food stamp program similar to those passed by House Republicans in Washington, ending the food subsidy for tens of thousands of low-income Americans regardless of what Congress does. Spurred by the ballooning cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the GOP-dominated House voted Thursday 217-210 to cut $39 billion in the food assistance program over 10 years. Among the changes: Ending waivers for states that during the recession allowed as many as 4 million people to collect food stamps who otherwise would not have qualified…”
  • Miss. GOP delegation backs food stamps cut, By Deborah Barfield Berry and Christopher Doering, September 22, 2013, Jackson Clarion-Ledger: “Ann McCullen isn’t sure how families who depend on the food pantry in Hattiesburg will manage if a House bill slashing food stamp spending by $39 billion over 10 years becomes law. But, she has faith lawmakers will “make good choices.” “We have people who are the working poor, and they’re still not able to make ends meet,” said McCullen, executive director of the Edwards Street Fellowship Center, which operates a food pantry twice a week…”
  • Planned cuts in food stamps decried, By Alfred Lubrano, September 22, 2013, Philadelphia Inquirer: “The vote by the House of Representatives on Thursday to slash billions from food stamps has rocked local advocates for the poor, who see the move as a potential blow to people already struggling to survive. At the same time, advocates praised four local Republican congressmen who bucked their party and voted against the cuts…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • House passes GOP plan to slash food stamp funding, By Ed O’Keefe and Niraj Chokshi, September 19, 2013, Washington Post: ” The House narrowly approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s food-stamp program Thursday that would slash food aid to about 4 million Americans over the next few years and shift a greater burden of taking care of the poor to state governments. The Republican-backed plan, which would cut about $39 billion in funding for food-stamp programs over the next decade, differs sharply from a bipartisan Senate proposal passed in June, and its passage is likely to further strain relations between the two chambers as they prepare to spend the next several weeks battling over a short-term budget deal and raising the federal debt limit…”
  • House Republicans pass deep cuts in food stamps, By Ron Nixon, September 19, 2013, New York Times: “House Republicans narrowly pushed through a bill on Thursday that slashes billions of dollars from the food stamp program, over the objections of Democrats and a veto threat from President Obama. The vote set up what promised to be a major clash with the Senate and dashed hopes for passage this year of a new five-year farm bill…”
  • House passes bill to cut food-stamp spending, By Kristina Peterson, September 19, 2013, Wall Street Journal: “The House on Thursday narrowly passed a bill curtailing spending on food stamps, setting up a battle with the Senate, which backs far smaller cuts. The vote was 217-210. The bill would cut nearly $40 billion over a decade, or about 5% in expected spending, from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs. The Senate has called for a cut of about $4 billion to the programs. About 48 million Americans received food-stamp benefits last year…”
  • House bill would take 3.8 million off food stamps, By Jennifer Liberto, September 19, 2013, CNNMoney: “House Republicans on Thursday passed a controversial bill that would drop 3.8 million people from food stamp rolls next year by making it tougher for some families to qualify. The bill would cut $40 billion from food stamps over the next decade, which would force about 14 million people from the program by 2023, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Food stamp cuts could send more to Minn. food shelves, Associated Press, September 16, 2013, Crookston Times: “Officials and advocates for the needy in central Minnesota say cuts to the food stamp program could have harsh effects on many low-income families, while area food shelves and other groups say they expect to see an increase in the number of people they serve. The federal farm bill, which funds food stamps and nutrition programs, will expire at the end of the month if Congress fails to renew it. In July, the House passed a new version of the bill, but it didn’t include foot stamps and the bill is now stalled. An earlier, unsuccessful, House bill included more than $20 billion in cuts, while a Senate version passed in May proposes $4 billion in cuts…”
  • Proposed food stamp cuts put most vulnerable at risk, By Gary Gately, September 17, 2013, Youth Today: “One in five Americans said they lacked enough money at times in the past year to buy the food they or their families needed, a new Gallup poll shows. Little wonder, then, that critics say a Republican bill to slash food stamp spending by $40 billion over the next 10 years would prove devastating to families struggling to put food on the table.“It’s awful; I don’t have enough words to express what a terrible, unprecedented slashing of the safety net this is,” Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs, told Youth Today…”