A 'Sweet' Reform for SNAP - Texas Scorecard

With entitlement spending set to sour the state’s budget without some meaningful reform, one Democrat has a sweet proposal to help eliminate wasteful spending—by prohibiting sweets and junk food from being purchased with welfare handouts.

HB 751 by Rep. Richard Raymond (D–Laredo) would ban the purchase of “sweetened beverages,” candy, potato or corn chips, and cookies with any funds given to an applicant of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), colloquially known as “food stamps.”

SNAP is a federal program administered at the state level designed to offer “nutritional assistance” to low-income individuals and families. A SNAP recipient is issued a “Lone Star Card” that works just like a debit card.

Rep. Raymond’s bill appropriately addresses a common complaint about the program—that many items such as the ones mentioned above provide little to no nutritional value at all, and that tax dollars should not be used to subsidize a welfare recipient’s junk food craving.

Freshmen Representative Terry Canales (D–Edinburg) is also of the same mindset, and is proposing to remove energy drinks from the list of eligible purchases a SNAP recipient can make.

Both of these ideas would are small reforms that would go a long way to protect taxpayers while ensuring that only those truly in need of assistance are getting the nutrition SNAP is intended to provide.