Food Stamp Expansion Unlikely, Drug Offenders Left Out

3 years 3 months 1 week ago Monday, May 12 2014 May 12, 2014 Monday, May 12, 2014 2:20:00 PM CDT May 12, 2014 in News
By: Creighton Hayes, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - After his arrest in 1997, James McIntyre spent three and a half years in the Boonville Correctional Center for selling methamphetamine and marijuana to an undercover police officer.

McIntyre was 17 at the time and tried as an adult.

After his release, McIntyre became a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, an electrician's union.

McIntyre worked as a union journeyman electrician in Kansas City until the union laid him off in January. The layoff brought uncertainty to McIntyre's life and eventually led him to "In2Action," a transitional home in Columbia for men. 

"People who come here have an array of challenges that they have to address in order to be successful," said Dan Hanneken, the director of In2Action. "Substance abuse, mental health, employment; affordable housing, food, clothing, these are all things that need addressed."

McIntyre has not worked since the cutback and likely won't anytime soon, as the program restricts its participants from working for the first 30 days of their stay. 

While In2Action provides its residents with several resources and shelter free of charge, the program requires participants to be self-sufficient for food, a huge problem for McIntyre. 

"I'm eating, you know, really just whatever comes my way. I'm kinda in a bind for whether or not I can go out and get food without a job," said McIntyre.

McIntyre was employed for 15 years after earning his associate degree and has never had the need for federal assistance until now, but with his previous drug conviction McIntyre is ineligible for food stamp program benefits.

The lifetime ban is a result of welfare reform efforts in 1996, an effort that all 50 states once followed, but many have since modified or removed.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Services State Options Report from August 2012, Missouri is one of just 11 states to still impose a lifetime ban on drug offenders from ever receiving food stamp benefits. 

A bill proposed during the Missouri Legislature's regular session by Senator Kiki Curls, D-Kansas City, would modify the lifetime ban to one more consistent with many other state standards. Curls' bill would allow drug offenders access to food stamps under the following conditions:

 

  • The offender successfully participates in, is accepted for treatment and is on a waiting list for, or has satisfactorily completed a substance abuse treatment program approved by the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
  • Has been determined by a division-certified treatment provider to not need substance abuse treatment.
  • Complies with all obligations imposed by the court, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and the Division of Probation and Parole.

 

Additionally, people convicted of possession or use of a controlled substance felony may be eligible for food stamp benefits one year after release from custody or conviction date as long as the person does not receive a subsequent felony controlled substance conviction.

As a safety measure, Curls' bill would disqualify people with three drug related offenses. 

Despite some bipartisan and cross-chamber support, many legislators disagreed with expanding the food stamp program. 

"The food stamp program is one of the programs that has the most fraud in it," said Senator Will Kraus, R-Jackson County. "My belief is why would you expand a program you know is fraudulent."

Kraus said the program itself needs to be modified before more people are added to it. 

"There is no focus on nutrition. Benefits can be used for potato chips, pop, premade food, things that are not good for a person to live on," said Kraus. "I believe those are the things we need to change with the program, making it more about healthy and sound eating."

In addition to regulating food stamp usage based on nutrition, Kraus also said adding a photo to the EBT card would go a long way in reducing waste and fraud in the program. 

KOMU 8 News contacted Senator Curls eight times via phone and visited the senator's office but she refused to speak to us.

McIntyre said he understands the reason for the ban, but it's approached in the wrong way.

"There are people that change and people that don't change," said McIntyre. "I think the ban should be applied on an individual level rather than an everybody level."

Curls' bill is stuck in the House Rules Committee and is unlikely to find its way to the House floor for approval by the time the regular session closes May 16.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The general public listened to the proposed 2018 Jefferson City Fiscal Budget for the first time at... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:56:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
FULTON - A car theft in Fulton led to a wreck that left three hospitalized Monday afternoon. According to... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction workers are wrapping up the building expansion on the Columbia Boys and Girls Club. The Boys... More >>
5 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia’s city council held its first of three public hearings for the fiscal year 2018 Annual Budget Monday... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 6:08:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Gasps and cheers went up from crowds from around the world gathered across mid-Missouri for the total solar... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:44:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The total solar eclipse lasted for only a few short minutes, but the anticipation of the rare... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
BOONVILLE – Eclipse viewers gathered at the Boonville Airport to watch the total solar eclipse in a point of 100... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:28:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri began classes Monday with the second highest retention rate in the university's history, according... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 3:27:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Viewers throughout mid-Missouri sent in photos and video documenting the solar eclipse that swept across the state Monday.... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 2:57:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in Eclipse Events
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Two men face felony charges after shots were fired at police during a vehicle pursuit in... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:55:15 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
CHILLCOTHE (AP) — Authorities are investigating after an officer was involved in a shooting in northern Missouri. The St.... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:43:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after an off-duty officer was killed and a woman was wounded at... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:31:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
LEE'S SUMMIT (AP) — Police in suburban Kansas City are on the hunt for a man accused of stealing a... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 1:19:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Attorneys for a condemned Missouri inmate warn that the state is preparing to execute a potentially... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 12:51:00 PM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities in eastern Missouri's Iron County are investigating a shooting death in a rural area. Th... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 10:57:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTRY - The Camden County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help identifying two people who stole a... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Clouds dissipated enough for many people in mid-Missouri to get a good view of the total solar eclipse.... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 7:58:00 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in Eclipse Events
BOWLING GREEN (AP) — A rural northeast Missouri man is charged with fatally shooting his stepson. Pike County... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, August 21 2017 Aug 21, 2017 Monday, August 21, 2017 6:53:54 AM CDT August 21, 2017 in Continuous News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
1am 75°
2am 75°
3am 73°
4am 72°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:06a
The Brave
12:30a
Cheaters
1:00a
Cheaters
1:30a
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:01p
Hollywood Game Night
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld