Saturday, June 10, 2017

Democratic reps ask Scott how he will protect Florida from proposed Trump cuts to SNAP

Recently, nine Florida Democratic U.S. representatives sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott outlining their concern over President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“Upon the release of President Trump’s budget, we are deeply concerned about the proposal to “re-balance the Federal/State partnership in SNAP benefits to low-income households,” the representatives wrote. “This proposal will shift 25 percent of SNAP costs to the State of Florida by 2023. More than two-thirds of SNAP households include children, seniors, individuals with disabilities and low-wage workers. SNAP is essential to keeping poor and vulnerable Floridians from going hungry. At a time when Florida’s budget is already strained, this has the potential to drastically affect how our constituents are served, and we are requesting information on how your administration intends to respond.”

The Florida delegation members who signed the letter included U.S. Reps. Al Lawson (FL-5), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Darren Soto (FL-9), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Val Demings (FL-10), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Alcee Hastings (FL-23), and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).

Currently, for each application, the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays the SNAP benefit itself, as well as half of the costs involved in administering the program. Trump’s budget proposes shifting to cost-sharing with the state, placing a new strain on an already tight Florida budget. This unprecedented change would force Scott and the Florida state legislature to choose between helping to feed hungry Floridians and funding other important priorities.

“As Members of Congress who represent Florida, we ask that you provide us, and Florida’s taxpayers, with information about how your administration will prepare for the heavy toll these proposals would take on Floridians who are already struggling to put food on their tables and the $9 billion threat it would pose to important priorities in Florida’s budget,” the members wrote the governor.

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