A bill that would require photo identification on EBT cards is one step closer to approval.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio House Committee on Community and Family Advancement approved the bill Wednesday.
The bill, which would require food stamp recipients to obtain color ID photos for their benefit cards advanced on mostly partisan lines.
Ohio’s state auditor introduced the legislation with two Republican lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate in February.
Supporters say the new measure will weed out fraudsters who exchange food stamp benefits for cash.
“This bill’s going to go forward, and we are going to get more food on families’ tables as a result of this,” said Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) the primary sponsor. “And the taxpayers will be made whole much, much more by this photo ID requirement helping to eliminate fraud.”
Opponents of the bill say photos will not deter fraudsters if grocery stores do not check the cards and will cause trouble for the needy who have caretakers or family shopping with the cards on their behalf.
“I understand the goal, of course, is to decrease the prevalence of fraud statewide,” said Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), ranking minority member of the House panel. “But there’s so many reasons this bill won’t do that the way it stands. A photo is not going to do any more than a name on a card, especially if (retailers) don’t have to check the cards.”
WCPO reports that the full House has yet to vote on the bill.