‘Gaming the system’? States use trick to undo food stamp cuts
Another reason to get the federal government out of entitlements and let the states run and pay for them.
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States are using what critics call a “perverse” legislative maneuver to partly undo congressional cuts to food stamps, despite efforts by some U.S. lawmakers to stop it.
The Washington Post reported Monday that three states so far are finding a way to avoid or minimize the cuts. The bill passed by Congress last month was supposed to save $8.6 billion over the next decade in food stamps. But New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have figured out how to trigger additional spending anyway.
The trick, as many states have discovered, is for them to devote a relatively modest amount of funding to home-heating assistance. Under the law, states that give a certain amount to families could then qualify those families for additional food stamp money.
Lawmakers, reportedly concerned that states were “gaming the system,” had raised the threshold in the new law — but states have responded by simply spending more money on home-heating assistance. In turn, this triggers more food stamp funding.