Summary: H.R.1135 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House with amendment(s) (03/14/1995)


Title I: Commodity Distribution Provisions

Title II: Simplification and Reform of Food Stamp Program

Subtitle A: Simplified Food Stamp Program and State

Assistance for Needy Families

Subtitle B: Food Stamp Program

Subtitle C: Program Integrity

Subtitle D: Effective Dates and Miscellaneous


Food Stamp Reform and Commodity Distribution Act - Title I: Commodity Distribution Provisions - Commodity Distribution Act of 1995 - Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to purchase and distribute food assistance commodities to the States through FY 2000.

(Sec. 103) Requires the Secretary to establish procedures for supplemental State, local, and private commodity donations.

(Sec. 104) Requires a State seeking commodity assistance to submit an administrative plan every four years to the Secretary.

(Sec. 105) Establishes program allocation guidelines. Requires States to make emergency feeding organizations their first priority.

(Sec. 107) Authorizes the Secretary to use Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds to pay initial commodity processing and packaging costs.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes FY 1996 through 2000 program appropriations, including a separate authorization of appropriations for administrative costs.

(Sec. 110) Obligates specified funds for a commodity supplemental food program for women, infants, and children or the elderly. Requires the CCC to donate specified amounts of cheese and nonfat dry milk to such program.

(Sec. 111) States that commodities received under this title shall not be considered income or resources for any Federal, State, or local means-tested program.

(Sec. 118) Repeals the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983. Eliminates specified provisions of: (1) the Commodity Distribution Reform Act and WIC Amendments of 1987; (2) the Charitable Assistance and Food Bank Act of 1987; (3) the Food Security Act of 1985; (4) the Agricultural and Consumer Protection Act of 1973; and (5) the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990.

Title II: Simplification and Reform of Food Stamp Program - Food Stamp Simplification and Reform Act of 1995 - Subtitle A: Simplified Food Stamp Program and State Assistance for Needy Families - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Act) to authorize a State to operate a program under which households receiving cash assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program established by this Act would receive food stamp benefits based upon TANF rules and procedures. Sets forth the conditions for a State to use TANF rules for food stamp benefits.

Subtitle B: Food Stamp Program - Amends the Act to revise the thrifty food plan annual adjustment.

(Sec. 206) Eliminates: (1) the food stamp program (program) income exclusion for energy assistance; and (2) annual inflation indexing for income and excess shelter deductions and vehicle allowances.

(Sec. 208) Limits legal aliens' program eligibility.

(Sec. 209) Revises work requirements to: (1) require non-exempt recipients to participate in a State job search program; (2) treat failure to comply with a TANF work requirement as failure to comply with a program requirement; (3) replace the existing employment and training requirement with one that would disqualify a non-exempt individual not employed a minimum of 20 hours a week nor participating in a State program within a specified time; and (4) revise exempt individual categories.

Establishes State program requirements. Permits a State to operate a program either Statewide or in any political subdivision. Obligates specified funds for such program.

(Sec. 210) Provides for comparable treatment of disqualified individuals under the program and TANF.

(Sec. 211) Encourages States to implement electronic benefit transfer systems.

(Sec. 212) Eliminates minimum allotment increases for one- and two-person households.

(Sec. 214) Revises State error tolerance level provisions.

(Sec. 215) Permits States to include in their work supplementation program the value of a recipient's food stamp benefits in the amount paid the employer to subsidize wages.

Subtitle C: Program Integrity - Amends the Act to direct the Secretary to establish authorization periods for retail food stores and wholesale food concerns to redeem food stamps or benefits through an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) system.

(Sec. 302) Provides that no food store or concern be approved for program participation without a prior visit by a Department of Agriculture employee, or whenever possible, a designated State or local official.

(Sec. 303) Establishes a six-month reapplication waiting period for a denied food store or concern.

(Sec. 304) States that a food store or concern disqualified from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) shall be similarly disqualified from the program.

(Sec. 305) Makes a permanent disqualification of a food store or concern effective from the date of receipt of the notice of disqualification.

(Sec. 306) Replaces existing administrative forfeiture provisions with criminal forfeiture provisions.

(Sec. 307) Expands the definition of "coupon."

(Sec. 308) Increases specified penalties for program violations.

(Sec. 309) Provides for the permanent disqualification of a person convicted of trafficking in food stamp benefits of $500 or more.

(Sec. 310) Requires collection of claims against recipients from Federal income tax refunds and pay.

Subtitle D: Effective Dates and Miscellaneous Provisions - Sets forth effective dates for provisions of this Act.

(Sec. 402) Expresses the sense of the Congress that States that operate electronic benefit systems to transfer food stamp benefits should operate compatible systems.

(Sec. 403) Expresses the sense of the House Committee on Agriculture that reductions in outlays resulting from this title shall not be taken into account for certain deficit reduction purposes.