A Legislative Update
Dear Fellow Advocates,
This 2017 legislative Session at the Indiana State House has placed a large emphasis on food security issues. Both the House and the Senate have multiple bills concerning the expansion of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and the minimization of food deserts within Indiana. In the Senate, there has been a large push for expansion of SNAP eligibility with three bills on the issue.
Senate Bill 9
seeks to expand SNAP benefits to individuals who have been convicted of certain drug offenses. This bill has passed through the Senate Family and Children Services Committee, and has been ordered engrossed during Second Reading on the Senate floor and is awaiting Third Reading.
Senate Bill 154
seeks to remove asset limits for SNAP eligibility. Therefore, an individual’s value of assets will not affect whether or not they are eligible to receive SNAP benefits. This bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Family and Children Services. Senate Bill 528
also provides the same expansion of SNAP eligibility, but the bill has not yet been heard in the Senate Family and Children Services Committee.
In the House there have been a number of bills authored on food security issues, however, none of them have received committee hearings. House Bill 1151, 1399
concern the expansion of SNAP benefits and neither have been heard in the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee. House Bill 1425
concern food deserts and creating grant programs to promote existing businesses to carry a variety of fresh foods. House Bill 1060
seeks to financially support private-public partnerships to help encourage existing businesses to also carry fresh foods. House Bill 1060 is still awaiting a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.
What this means for you?
With many of these bills having bi-partisan support, expansion of SNAP benefits will be an issue to closely watch throughout Session. Although not all of these bills have made it out of their respective committees, there is still plenty of time for these bills to be heard. The last day that bills can be heard in committee in the Senate is February 23rd
and February 21st
in the House.
What can you do?
Please find out who your State legislators are by following this link: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
. Then please contact them and voice your support
for the bills mentioned above. Every phone call and email makes a difference as we work to protect the interests of Hoosier Families!
To find out more information about bills that are being watched by the Campaign for Hoosier Families go to http://www.lumserve.org/programs/outreach-and-advocacy/c4hf/bill-watch-list/
Thank you for helping to support Hoosier Families!