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California Food Stamp Eligibility Bill Clears Legislative Hurdle

A bill that would simplify eligibility for California's food stamp program passed a legislative floor vote on Tuesday. The bill would expand the rate of food stamp program participation in California, which has America's lowest rate.

Democratic Assembly member Mark Stone said only half of eligible Californians participate in the CalFresh program because the complex paperwork deters them.

"Families who are struggling to put food on the table should not be forced to navigate a difficult bureaucratic process in order to receive this temporary assistance," Stone said.

But Republican Assembly member Shannon Grove said the bill invites fraud because it allows self-identification.

"Somebody could just walk in and say I have 10 kids and there's no validation of that program and receive the free resources from that program," Grove said.

The bill has passed the Assembly on a party-line vote. It returns next to the Senate floor for a concurrence vote.

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | September 4, 2013 at 8:55 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

The Demoncrats just can't give it away fast enough. I suggest the "cheese giveaways" like they had in the 70's. No, wait! They want the debit cards mailed to them. No standing in line for them. That would be cruel.

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Avatar for user 'Anon11'

Anon11 | September 4, 2013 at 10:14 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

-We, as a society, are all interconnected. We work jobs to provide services for each other, we pay taxes to finance goods and services for each other. Everything we do affects the greater good in some way.

-People need to eat. If they don't have safe, legal access to basic food and nutrition, they will end up turning to unsafe, illegal means to feed themselves. It's survival instinct.

-We need to acknowledge the reality of bad people abusing the system. They do exist, and in great numbers. But so do good people who are genuinely benefiting from the assistance.

So at this point, with established context, we have two general options:

1. Punish the good with the bad, let people go hungry, wait for them to resort to crime, incarcerate them at tremendous expense to the taxpayer. When they get released, they have a record, making it that much harder to get a job and improve their lives. Then they get stuck on welfare anyway.

2. Don't punish the good for the actions of the bad. Feed people. Give people peace of mind so they can focus on improving their lives, even if they don't. No *need* for crime, no criminal record to prevent you from getting a job. Eventually they get a job, get off welfare, and pay it forward to the next generation.

Yes, the examples are a little biased, but not far from reality. Approaching this situation rationally, we have to acknowledge that you can't cost-effectively filter out the good from the bad, supervise everyone, drug test everyone, etc.. Because of this, we have to make one of two choices, and accept all the baggage that comes with it. (Kind of like every presidential election)

So, cost-effectively, is it cheaper to feed people or incarcerate them? The answer is feed them.

Socially, is it better to have more hungry people with little time or resources to obtain any sort of upward mobility? Or to let some lazy people eat for free so those that need it can indeed improve their lives and eventually contribute back into the system? Again, the answer is to feed the people.

There is no argument against food stamps that considers the complexity of the consequences on a social and financial level. Everyone that speaks against it either hates poor people or they are so mentally one-dimensional, they can't get beyond the idea of, "If I don't pay for food stamps, I save tax money and that's the entirety of it".

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Avatar for user 'muckapoo1'

muckapoo1 | September 4, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

I hear ya. How about some form of workfare? Let's get something for the $$$'s spent. The streets in my town are strewn with weeds and litter.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | September 4, 2013 at 8:34 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

A government that sets goals to increase food stamps and rewards those who "sign up the most folks" while driving jobs out of the state as fast as they can?

Must be California trying to outdo their Democratic brethren in Washington. Sad state.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | September 5, 2013 at 7:12 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Let's see. Lobbing Tomahawk missles at Arab countries or feeding the poor. Square your principles. There's no debate.

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Avatar for user 'sdreefer21'

sdreefer21 | September 6, 2013 at 9:42 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Can I get a drug test Rome? The benevolent nature of our society defends such social programs. But I urge some of you to visit neighborhoods where welfare has become some peoples first choice of gainful employment. More babies more money. Just maybe some sort of contract ensuring search for employment, non-drug use, and mandatory repayment for abusers??

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | September 6, 2013 at 11:31 a.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

Hey Ickapoo, it is interesting that Nixon, a Repuke, tried to eliminate the Job corps program.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | September 6, 2013 at 12:04 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

The Obama administration has dropped any work requirements for welfare, food stamps, etc. There is less incentive to work and more incentive to stay on the dole and vote democratic no matter who is running for office.

Hmmmm - didn't San Diego just do that? How'd that work out ?

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