skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Lifting SNAP Drug Felony Ban on the Table in Michigan

play audio
Play

Friday, September 25, 2020   

LANSING, Mich. - Some Michiganders convicted of drug offenses are facing lifelong punishments under the law that are not directly related to their crime.

The state permanently bans those with felony convictions from two or more separate drug-related crimes from food assistance available under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich - D-Flint - introduced SB 1006 to repeal the ban. He contended it's a matter of fairness, as no other crime triggers such a denial.

"Dangling food over a person's head and taking it away potentially from their family, their children or themselves as they're trying to reform themselves and get out of a dangerous cycle seems to me to be unusually cruel and unnecessary," said Ananich.

Data show full eligibility for SNAP benefits reduces the probability that someone with a drug conviction will return to prison within a year by 13%. 26 states and DC have waived the ban, which was created under federal welfare reform in 1996.

Julie Cassidy, senior policy analyst with the Michigan League for Public Policy, noted the ban has distinct impacts on people with disabilities, who already are disproportionately affected by hunger and the criminal-justice system.

She said access to SNAP and other public assistance supports a successful return to the community.

"They may have gotten involved in the drug trade out of economic desperation or maybe simply struggling with an addiction," said Cassidy. "We view this as a really outdated and unfair and unjust policy. It's not smart on crime; it's just tough on crime."

The average SNAP benefit in Michigan is $1.32 per person per meal, which Ananich said he believes is a modest investment to get people on the path to recovery.

"A few folks feel like you're rewarding folks that made a mistake related to drugs, and I understand that argument," said Ananich. "But if the point is rehabilitation, than I think it seems like something we should do. If your philosophy is just punish and no chance for improving, then you probably don't like the bill."

The bill passed out of the Senate Families, Seniors and Veterans committee this week.

Disclosure: Michigan League for Public Policy/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Children's Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Coal production in the Powder River Basin was 50% lower in the first quarter of 2024 than the first quarter of 2014, by about 49 million tons. (Robert Coy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new policy could affect the future of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and in turn, Wyoming's tax structure. The Powder River Basin produced …


Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…


Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Michigan consistently ranks high as a state for contact volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with the 11th-highest rate in the nation in 2023. (Africa Studio)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021