MADISON (AP) — The state Assembly has passed bill to limit the types of food that food stamp users could buy, including how much of their allotment can be spent on junk food.
The Assembly passed the Republican-sponsored measure on a 60-35 vote Wednesday.
The bill would require food stamp recipients to use at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits to purchase nutritional foods such as beef, chicken and produce.
Republican supporters say they want to prevent people on taxpayer-funded public assistance from spending their money on junk food.
“A lot of people, an awful lot of people who are on FoodShare are also on BadgerCare, so there is a direct financial benefit not just to the individual, which of course is obvious to have better health, but also to state taxpayers and society as a whole,” Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said.
Users would also be barred from buying crab, lobster, shrimp and other shellfish.
The change would require a federal waiver, which no state has ever received.
The Assembly passed a similar bill last session but it never got a vote in the Senate.