USDA Says New Georgia Food Stamp Law Violates Federal Policy

Credit Chris Ferguson/WABE
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  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Georgia is no longer in danger of losing up to $15 million dollars in federal funding due to a backlog in applications for the state’s food stamp system [copy of letter, PDF].  The department says it will continue to monitor Georgia, but the state is now in compliance with federal processing requirements.

However, the department sent another letter [PDF] saying a recently signed state law which could require some food stamp recipients to submit to drug testing violates a federal policy.  The department says the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service prohibits states from imposing additional standards for eligibility for participation in the program. Under House bill 772, state caseworkers could require food stamp recipients to submit to drug testing if there is “reasonable suspicion,” such as an arrest record or a person’s demeanor.