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Legislation

Legislation Updates

Monthly legislation updates tracking state and federal policies relating to food assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), child nutrition, and other incentive programs are provided below. Please note, we’ve included all bills related to food assistance in this section. Some of the bills strengthen federal food programs while others are detrimental and would weaken the food assistance safety net. This legislation update is provided by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. Legislation update archive is available here.

September - November 2017

 

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

CONG US H.R. 3749 (Federal)
Title: SNAP Standard Medical Expense Deduction Act of 2017
Introduced September 12, 2017
Sponsor: Representative Lawson (D-FL)
Summary: This bill would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to provide for a standard medical expense deduction under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
 
CONG US H.R. 3815 (Federal)
Title: Food Sharing Act of 2017
Introduced September 21, 2017
Sponsor: Representative Lawson (D-FL)
Summary: This bill would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to make grants to carry out gleaning projects.
 
CONG US H.R. 3875 (Federal)
Title: College Student Hunger Act of 2017
Introduced September 28, 2017
Sponsor: Representative Lawson (D-FL)
Summary: This bill would amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to expand the eligibility of students to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
 
CONG US H.R. 4074 (Federal)
Title: Pathways Out of Poverty Act of 2017
Introduced October 16, 2017
Sponsor: Representative Lee (D-CA)
Summary: This bill would strengthen and expand proven anti-poverty programs and initiatives.
 
AL H.B. 6 (Alabama)
Title: Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, able bodied adults without dependents, work requirements imposed to receive benefits
Prefiled January 9, 2018
Sponsor: Representative Hanes (R)
Summary: This bill would prohibit the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources from requesting a waiver of federal work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents who are applicants or recipients of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). This bill would require all able-bodied adults without dependents who are applicants or recipients of SNAP benefits to participate in minimum work requirements, provide documentation of engaging in work training, or participate in volunteer community service and would provide limited exemptions from these work requirements.
 
IL H.B. 4140 (Illinois)
Title: DHS-SNAP-ABAWD Waiver Removal
Introduced October 25, 2017
Sponsors: Representatives Mitchell (R), Reis (R), Davidsmeyer (R)
Summary: This bill would prohibit the Department of Human Services from seeking to renew or extending any federal waiver of the 3-month time limit or work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependent children who apply for or receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
 
WI A.B. 501 (Wisconsin)
Title: FoodShare healthy eating incentive pilot program and making an appropriation
Introduced September 20, 2017
Sponsors: Representatives Rohrkaste (R), Jarchow (R), Zimmerman (R), Stafsholt (R), Tranel (R), Petryk (R), Horlacher (R), Quinn (R), Thiesfeldt (R), Tittl (R), Goyke (D), Berceau (D), Genrich (D), Kolste (D)
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Health Services (DHS) to establish and implement a pilot program to provide discounts to certain households that are eligible for FoodShare benefits also known as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, with discounts on fresh produce and other healthy foods. DHS must seek proposals from entities to administer the healthy eating incentive pilot program and contract with an independent research entity to conduct a study of the program.
 
WI A.B. 530 (Wisconsin)
Title: Nutritional food pilot program under FoodShare and providing an exemption from rule-making procedures
Introduced October 10, 2017
Sponsors: Representatives Pronschinske (R), R. Brooks (R), Horlacher (R), Kitchens (R), Knodl (R), Kremer (R), Steffen (R), Tittl (R), Tusler (R)
Summary:  This bill would require the Department of Health Services (DHS) to develop, after consulting with stakeholders, and conduct a pilot program to use FoodShare benefits for foods, food products, and beverages that have sufficient nutritional value. Under the bill's pilot program, DHS must identify categories of or specific foods, food products, and beverages that do not have sufficient nutritional value and restrict the use of FoodShare benefits for those foods, food products, and beverages. DHS must request a waiver of federal law, if it determines one is needed, and may not implement the pilot program unless the waiver is granted. Companion bill to WI SB 416.
 
WI S.B. 416 (Wisconsin)
Title: FoodShare healthy eating incentive pilot program and making an appropriation
Introduced September 21, 2017
Sponsors: Senators Harsdorf (R), L. Taylor (D), Darling (R), Olsen (R), Tiffany (R), Johnson (R), Petrowski (R), Cowles (R), Wirch (D), Vukmir (R)
Summary: This bill would require the Department of Health Services (DHS) to develop, after consulting with stakeholders, and conduct a pilot program to use FoodShare benefits for foods, food products, and beverages that have sufficient nutritional value. Under the bill's pilot program, DHS must identify categories of or specific foods, food products, and beverages that do not have sufficient nutritional value and restrict the use of FoodShare benefits for those foods, food products, and beverages. DHS must request a waiver of federal law, if it determines one is needed, and may not implement the pilot program unless the waiver is granted. Companion bill to WI AB 530.

 

Child Nutrition 

CONG US H.R. 3738 (Federal)
Title: Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act of 2017
Introduced September 12, 2017
Sponsor: Representative McGovern (D-MA)
Summary: This bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to remove certain limitations with respect to commodity assistance for school breakfast programs.
 
CONG US H.R. 4101 (Federal)
Title: School Milk Nutrition Act of 2017
Introduced October 24, 2017
Sponsor: Representative Thompson (R-PA)
Summary: This bill would authorize evaluation and promotion of milk within the school meals program to reverse declining milk consumption in schools.
 
CONG US S 2064 (Federal)
Title: Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act of 2017
Introduced November 2, 2017
Sponsor: Senator Johnson (R-WI)
Summary: This bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to include canned, dried, frozen, and pureed fruits and vegetables in the fresh fruit and vegetable program.
 
CA S.B. 138 (California)
Title: School meal programs: free and reduced-price meals: universal meal service
Adopted October 12, 2017
Sponsor: Senator McGuire (D)
Summary: This bill will, on or before September 1, 2018, require a school district or county superintendent of schools that has a very high poverty school, as defined, in its jurisdiction to apply to operate a federal universal meal service provision pursuant to specified federal law, and to begin providing breakfast and lunch free of charge through the universal meal service to all pupils at the very high poverty school upon state approval to operate that service.
 
CA S.B. 250 (California)
Title: Pupil meals: Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017
Adopted October 12, 2017
Sponsor: Senator Hertzberg (D)
Summary:  This bill enacts the Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017. The act requires certain local educational agencies, as defined, that provide school meals through the federal National School Lunch Program or the federal School Breakfast Program to ensure that a pupil whose parent or guardian has unpaid school meal fees is not shamed, treated differently, or served a meal that differs from what a pupil whose parent or guardian does not have unpaid school meal fees would receive under that local educational agency's policy.
 
DC L.B. 456 (Washington, DC)
Title: Universal Free Lunch for All Amendment Act of 2017
Introduced September 19, 2017
Sponsors: Council members Todd (D), Silverman (I), T. White (D), R. White (D), Gray (D), Nadeau (D), Allen (D)
Summary: This bill would provide free lunches for all students in District of Columbia Public Schools, District of Columbia Charter Schools, and participating private schools.
 
NY S.B. 5664 (New York)
Title: Authorizes the commissioner of education to establish guidelines providing for donation of excess, unused, edible food from school meals to food assistance programs
Adopted September 13, 2017
Sponsor: Senator Klein (D)
Summary: This bill directs the commissioner of education, in cooperation with the commissioner of agriculture and markets, to establish voluntary guidelines to provide for the donation of excess, unused, edible food from school, university or other educational institutions' meal programs to voluntary food assistance programs.
 
OH S.B. 191 (Ohio)
Title: To establish the Breakfast After The Bell Program for public schools
Introduced September 14, 2017
Sponsor: Senator Schiavoni (D)
Summary: This bill would establish the Breakfast After the Bell Program for public schools.