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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.