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Out-of-State Food Stamp Spending? No Comment

Posted: Jan 11, 2012 12:46 PM by David Earl
Updated: Jan 11, 2012 1:40 PM

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JEFFERSON CITY - KOMU 8 attempted on Wednesday to get the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide details on the data the department gave about out-of-state spending on food stamps. No one was available for comment.

KOMU sent this inquiry to DSS Communications Director Seth Bundy: "Can we set up an interview tomorrow? It would be great to talk about how the department looks at, identifies, and deals with fraud. I think it would be great to show the taxpayers how much work goes into safeguarding money set aside for families on assistance. Sound like something we could arrange?"

KOMU inquired with Bundy after the initial story on out-of-state food stamp spending reached more than 2000 views and had many Missouri taxpayers asking questions on social media how the money was spent.

"I think the folks over at the Department of Social Services, especially in the Program Integrity Unit know about the details of the data," said Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, chair of the committee charged with appropriating money to DSS.

Bundy's response: "Caught your piece last night. I think I'll pass on the interview. Thanks."

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Governmental Accountability held a hearing on SB 474, proposed by Sen. Will Kraus, R-Jackson County, which would require DSS to ask the federal government for permission to place photo identification on Missouri EBT (food stamp) cards. Senator Kraus said the final product would mirror the photo ID found on some bank debit cards.

Some democratic lawmakers worry the measure would cost the state more money.

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