TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – If you have to have food stamps to make ends meet, it looks like the state won’t ban you from having a snack, munching on chips, or enjoying a candy bar. A Florida House panel stripped a provision from a bill that would have banned the purchase of so called junk food with food stamps.
Not only did the house panel block that ban it also made it clear that they would oppose a similar bill in the Senate, and would fight any attempt to revive it in the house.
The proposal, part of HB 1401, had generate a storm of controversy since it was first debated. It’s sponsor said Florida taxpayers should not have to pay for people to eat junk foot, when they could have healthy choices.
When one opponent pointed out that the provision would prevent a parent from using food stamps to buy a birthday cake for their child, they were told the parent should bake it, from scratch, with ingredients legal to buy with food stamps.
Opponents claims that would violate freedom of choice, and in an appropriations subcommittee Monday they stripped the provision from a bill, along with a ban on welfare recipients from using debit-like cards to access cash benefits outside of Florida or at strip clubs, liquor stores, bars and gambling establishments.
The benefits can only be used for fresh or packaged food, not for hot food, alcohol, or tobacco.
The panel then approved the truncated bill 9-5.