Legislation Aims to Eliminate a Food Stamp Requirement

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 2, 2007

State Assemblyman Mark Leno is taking another stab at legislation that would stop the practice of fingerprinting food stamp recipients.  He says it treats them like criminals and discourages eligible Californians from joining the program.

Lee Mercer with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz supports such a move.  He conducts outreach to potential food stamp recipients in his area.  

  “A lot of legal immigrants are afraid of government programs and when you’re going to be fingerprinting every adult member of the household you can see how that would be a barrier…” 

Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar measure in 2005 saying the program prevents fraud by discouraging applicants from illegally obtaining duplicate benefits. 

The bill is AB 1382 by Assemblyman Mark Leno.