UPDATE: Walker signs food stamp trafficking bill

UPDATED Monday, July 22, 2013 --- 10:15 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a measure designed to help crack down on food stamp trafficking.

The bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature would expand definitions in state law of what constitutes illegal food stamp trafficking.

Walker signed it privately in the Capitol on Monday.

The law brings Wisconsin into line with the federal government's new expanded definition of food stamp trafficking. That refers to the illegal buying, selling or transferring of food stamp benefits for cash or other unlawful purposes.

Trafficking occurs in most cases when food stamp recipients sell their benefit cards online and in the open market and then apply for free replacements.

In any given month about 15 percent of Wisconsin's population, or 850,000 people, receive food stamp benefits.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 12:51 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved a bill that would expand definitions in state law of what constitutes illegal food stamp trafficking in Wisconsin.

The Republican-backed proposal brings state law into line with the federal government's new expanded definition of food stamp trafficking. That refers to the illegal buying, selling or transferring of food stamp benefits for cash or other unlawful purposes.

The Senate approved the bill on a 28-5 vote Tuesday. The measure passed the Assembly with bipartisan support in April. It now goes to Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Trafficking occurs in most cases when food stamp recipients sell their benefit cards online and in the open market and then apply for free replacements.

About 15 percent of Wisconsin's population, or 850,000 people, received food stamp benefits in February.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press

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UPDATED Friday, April 12, 2013 --- 10:27 a.m.
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013 -- 5:37 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A proposal that would penalize the trafficking of food stamp benefits is moving forward in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The proposal from Republican Rep. Samantha Kerkman, of Randall, would make it illegal to buy, sell or transfer food stamp benefits for cash and unlawful purposes.

It is already illegal in Wisconsin to make a fraudulent application for food stamps, fail to update income information or transfer benefits to a non-qualified person. But the law does not address trafficking benefits.

A Senate committee is scheduled to vote on the measure Friday.

Kerkman says she has heard about incidents where food stamp users in her district would sell their benefit cards and ask for a free replacement. Opponents argue the proposal stigmatize users who haven't done anything wrong.

Copyright 2013 : Associated Press


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