Michigan Could End Ban on Food Stamps for Convicted Drug Felons

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Michigan residents with two or more felony drug convictions on their record could no longer face a lifetime ban from receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The move comes as a change in the state’s budget after several organizations across the state advocated for repealing the ban, arguing that Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services arbitrarily punished people who had been convicted of drug crimes, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Under the current law, people convicted of two or more felony drug charges, including possession, distribution, or use of a controlled substance, after August 1996, were not allowed to receive SNAP benefits in Michigan.

No other types of convictions would affect eligibility for SNAP.

But a bill passed Wednesday in the Michigan Senate could change all that, as the bill would lift the ban that is currently in place.

The bill is now on its way to the Michigan House.

If signed into law, Michigan would be the 27th state to lift the SNAP ban for convicted drug felons, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that all SNAP households would see an increase in their benefits starting this month.

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