A hearing is slated for today in the general assembly on a bill that would require families using food stamps to show photo identification. The bill has generated critics who say it’s unfair and unnecessary.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Patricia Morgan of West Warwick says the bill would fight fraud within the program. Scamming the system happens when someone uses the benefits to buy products not covered by the program, such as cigarettes and alcohol, or when someone exchanges their benefits in return for cash.
We’re learning more about how recently enacted cuts in the food stamp program will affect Rhode Island. It will hit virtually every Rhode Islander who receives food stamp benefits.
Cuts in the food stamp program enacted November 1st will affect 181,000 Rhode Islanders, or 17 percent of the state’s population. The cuts will reduce the monthly food stamp benefit by $11 for an individual, $20 for a household of two, $29 for a household of three and $36 for a household of four.
Governor Lincoln Chafee is trying to explain why he’s withholding a report that details waste, fraud and abuse in the state’s Medicaid and food stamp programs. The report was done by former Moderate Party gubernatorial candidate Ken Block. Chafee says he asked Block to conduct the investigation about a year ago. But now that it’s done, the governor is refusing to release it.