April 25, 2012
NCSL Letter to Congress: Keep SNAP off Chopping Block
Washington, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) on Tuesday urged Congress to reauthorize vital nutrition assistance programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.
In a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee, NCSL applauded efforts to reauthorize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps more than 46 million Americans put food on the table each month.
“We applaud your efforts, which will continue to build on the important state-federal partnership in administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” wrote South Dakota Senator Tom Hansen (R) and Kansas Representative Barbara Ballard (D), co-chairs of the NCSL Human Services & Welfare Committee.
NCSL also expressed opposition to amendments that would increase administrative costs and limit flexibility for states. States and the federal government split the costs of administering SNAP.
“States continue to face difficult fiscal situations and limiting state options only places an increased burden on state budgets,” wrote Hansen and Ballard.
In the House, two committees are holding separate markups on the Farm Bill that contain provisions which would negatively affect state budgets and flexibility. The House Agriculture Committee is proposing $33 billion in cuts to SNAP, while the House Ways & Means Committee is considering eliminating the $1.7 billion Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.