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UPDATE: Wis. Assembly Approves Junk Food Stamps Bill

UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 6:13 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a bill that would limit the amount of food stamp benefits that could be spent on junk food.

The bill, authored by Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert of Neenah, would require people enrolled in the state's food stamps program to spend at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits on designated items such as milk, bread and vegetables. They could spend their remaining benefits on any authorized food.

Kaufert says recipients should use taxpayer-funded food stamps responsibly to eat healthy. But Democrats argue it may be difficult and expensive to implement new rules and the proposal will not help create jobs.

The measure cleared the Assembly on a 68-26 vote Tuesday. It now heads to the Senate.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, April 30, 2013--4:15p.m.
MADISON--Members of the state affairs committee are approving a bill that limits the amount of junk food that can be purchased with food stamp benefits.

The program is called FoodShare in Wisconsin.

Under the bill, participants in the program must spend two-thirds of their monthly benefits on certain approved foods, including proteins and produce. The remaining one-third can be used for any authorized food.

The bill's author says he's trying to encourage healthier eating, but at least one opponent says it could hurt a major piece of the state's economy: the dairy industry. "This bill does not allow for Wisconsinites who are utilizing the FoodShare program to purchase sharp cheddar cheese, Swiss cheese, shredded cheese or reduced sodium cheeses," said State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee. "And I just want to indicate again how that hurts not just those individuals, those Wisconsinites using the FoodShare program.....but it hurts our dairy farmers."

The committee passed the bill 7-2, so it'll be heading to the full Assembly for consideration in May.
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UPDATED Tuesday, April 30, 2013 --- 1:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin Assembly committee has approved a bill that would limit the amount of food stamp benefits that could be spent on junk food.

Republican Rep. Dean Kaufert, of Neenah, has amended his original bill to require people enrolled in the state nutrition assistance program, known as food stamps, to spend at least two-thirds of their monthly benefits on items such as milk, bread and vegetables. They could spend their remaining benefits on any authorized food.

Kaufert's original bill didn't specify an amount to be spent on whole foods.

Kaufert says he wants people to eat healthier, but Democrats on the committee say he's just trying to score political points.

The measure passed 7-2 Tuesday on a party line vote. The full Assembly will take it up in May.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted, Tuesday April 30, 2013 -- 5:35 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin Assembly committee is set to vote on a bill that would limit the amount of food stamp benefits that may be spent on junk food.

Rep. Dean Kaufert is a Republican from Neenah. His proposal set for a Tuesday vote would require people on state nutrition assistance program to buy less soda, chips and candy bars and more milk, bread, vegetables and fruits.

Kaufert says he wants to reduce the misuse of food stamp benefits and get people to eat healthier. But opponents argue the state shouldn't tell people what they can or can't eat, and food stamp users already have limited options in buying food.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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