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Georgia Reminded by USDA Regarding Food Stamps
Tuesday, 03 June 2014

June 3--  The federal government is reminding Georgia that the state can't mess with food stamp eligibility.

A letter Tuesday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to state officials said states are prohibited from imposing additional standards of eligibility and that a new Georgia law is not allowable.

House Bill 772, authored by State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia, requires state employees who administer the food stamp program to deny benefits to applicants whom they suspect of drug use until they pass a drug test.

A similar law in Florida was ruled unconstitutional by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, Morris says the Georgia law was crafted to comply with the federal court ruling.

"For entitlements, when there is a reasonable suspicion of drug use, we can drug test.  It specifically mentions food stamps.  It's clear to me the ruling includes it and I think the state of Georgia should stand beside the will of its elected representatives and its Governor and fight this in federal court," Morris said.

A spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Human Resources say they are taking the USDA letter under advisement pending a decison on possible legal action.

 
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