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Florida Could Cut Off Food Stamps From 200,000 Recipients

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State Rep. Don Hahnfeldt, who represents Sumter County and parts of Lake and Marion counties, co-sponsered House Bill 581 along with Reps. Jason Fischer and Matt Willhite. (Photo courtesy Florida House)

TALLAHASSEE — Florida could cut off food stamps for more than 200,000 residents — including children and seniors — under a measure now moving ahead in the Legislature.

Republicans backing the move say that now that the economy is improving, it’s time to change eligibility requirements to the way it was prior to the Great Recession. A bill authorizing the change has made it through two House committees, although a companion bill has yet to be considered by the Florida Senate.

Democrats questioned whether the economy has recovered enough for those in most need.

Food stamps are paid by the federal government, but legislators have some control over eligibility. The House bill (HB 581) would limit food stamps to families that earn less than 130 percent of the federal poverty limit, or $2,633 a month for a family of four.

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