Michigan House passes bill to end food assistance ban from residents with certain drug convictions

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan House overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 1006, which ends the lifetime food assistance ban on those with certain drug convictions.

The bill, which was passed 92-15, will allow individuals with more than one drug felony to qualify for full Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

Full eligibility for SNAP benefits among drug offenders decreases the probability of returning to prison within one year by 13.1%, according to a Michigan Leauge for Public Policy (MLPP) study.

Lawmakers said that the ban disproportionally affected adults with disabilities.

Working-age adults with disabilities are four times more likely to experience food insecurity than those without disabilities, said the study.

“The ban unfairly extends punishment long after individuals have served their sentences,” said Gilda Z. Jacobs, President and CEO of the MLPP said. “And systemic factors in employment, healthcare, and law enforcement mean that people with disabilities, particularly people of color, are overrepresented both among the food-insecure population and in justice system involvement.”

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