Summary: H.R.7570 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.7570. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (06/02/1977)

National Food Stamp Reform Act - Extends the Food Stamp Act of 1964 through fiscal year 1982.

Excludes from the definition of "food" which may be purchased with food stamps alcoholic beverages, tobacco, ice cubes, artificial food colorings, powdered and liquid cocktail mixes, carbonated beverages, cooking wines, and chewing gum; and any other food, class of food, food product or condiment which the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the President of the National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council (Food and Nutrition Board), determines to have a negligible or low nutritional value or to be an insignificant enhancement of palatability.

Includes residents of federally subsidized housing for the elderly in the definition of "household". Redefines "elderly person" as someone 65 years or older (currently, 60 years of age).

Defines "nutritionally adequate diet" as a diet sufficient to feed a family of four persons, consisting of a man and a woman between 20 and 54 years of age, one child between ages nine and eleven and one child between six and eight, and which meets additional specified conditions.

Directs the Secretary to establish uniform national standards of eligibility for participation by households in the food stamp program. Requires the income standards of eligibility in every State to be the nonfarm income poverty guidelines prescribed by the Office of Management and Budget, adjusted annually; but limits the standards for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Guam to those of the 50 States.

Sets a 90-day accounting period for certification or recertification of food stamp applicants.

Limits the maximum allowable financial resources (liquid and nonliquid assets) of a household to $1,500, except that, for households or two or more persons with one or more members 65 years or older, such resources are limited to $2,250. Specifies holdings excluded from the determination of such resources.

Requires household income for purposes of the food stamp program to be the gross income of the household less: (1) a deduction of $25 a month for any household in which there is at least one elderly person; and (2) an additional deduction equal to 15 percent of all earned income to compensate for taxes, mandatory deductions, and work expenses. Includes in gross income: (1) all monetary payments to or on behalf of any household member except payments made for medical costs; (2) all income tax refunds and Federal income tax credits; (3) the value of all in-kind items; and (4) the value of all benefits received under any publicly or privately funded assistance program. Excludes from gross income: (1) payments for medical costs made on behalf of the household; (2) compensation for services performed by a student residing with the household who is not yet 18; (3) Uniform Relocation Assistance payments; (4) infrequent or irregular quarterly income; (5) all loans except deferred repayment education loans; and (6) the cost of producing self-employed income.

Authorizes the Secretary to establish temporary emergency eligibility standards for households which are victims of a disaster.

States that no household shall be eligible for participation in the Food Stamp program which includes an able- bodied adult between the ages of 18 and 65 who: (1) incurs a reduction of income as a result of voluntarily reducing his or her number of hours of employment without good cause; (2) fails to register for employment at a State or Federal employment office; (3) has refused to accept employment or public work within 30 miles of the person's principal residence; (4) fails to actively seek employment; or (5) is enrolled in an institution of post-secondary education as a substitute for full-time employment. Excludes from this class of ineligible individuals mothers with dependent children, primary or secondary school students, post-secondary level students or trainees' employed part-time, enrollees in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment program, and persons working at least 30 hours per week.

States that refusal to work at a plant site because of a strike or other labor dispute shall be deemed to be a refusal to accept employment.

Declares that no person shall be eligible who is not a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

States that no minor shall be considered a household member if such minor resides in a household in which no other member has a legal duty to support him unless: (1) the individual who had such a duty is financially unable to perform it; or (2) no individual with such duty exists.

Requires each household receiving food stamps to report its income at least once each month.

Declares that no household that knowingly transfers liquid or nonliquid assets for the purpose of qualifying or attempting to qualify for the food stamp program shall be eligible to participate in the program for a minimum of 90 days.

States that no person who receives supplementary security income benefits under title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) of the Social Security Act, State supplementary payments under such title, or payments under specified provisions of title II (Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) of such Act, shall be considered a member of a household for any month, if for such month, such individual resides in a State in which the Supplemental Security Income benefit has been increased specifically to include the bonus value of food coupon allotments.

Requires food coupons to be designed with spaces for the user to sign upon receipt and redemption. Requires coupon users to present suitable identification; including signature and photograph, when redeeming coupons at approved food stores.

States that the value of the food coupon allotment to which eligible households will be entitled shall be an amount sufficient to allow a household to purchase a nutritionally adequate diet. Requires the semi-annual adjustment of the value of an allotment based on changes in the cost of food.

Establishes as the charge a household shall pay for its coupon allotment the lesser of: (1) the percentage of its income which would be expended for food by an average household of its size and income range in the same region of the country; or (2) 30 percent.

Provides, under the requirements for State plans for the administration of the food stamp program, for closer State supervision of eligibility by households. Requires the State agencies administering the program to conduct nutrition education programs for recipients.

Directs each State agency to establish an earnings clearance system for the purpose of checking the actual income and assets of a household against those reported by the household.

Provides that if a State agency does not comply with the provisions of the Food Stamp Act, the Secretary may refer the matter to the Attorney General with a request for an injunction, or he may direct that there be no further issuance of coupons in the political subdivisions where such failure has occurred until such time as satisfactory corrective action has been taken.

Establishes a national system for providing information to State agencies in order to assist them in preventing households from receiving food stamps in more than one State or in more than one political subdivision within a State.

Sets a civil penalty not in excess of $10,000 for each violation of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 or regulations issued pursuant to it by specified persons, including State agencies.

Directs the Secretary to pay to each State agency out of funds appropriated by Congress an amount equal to 75 percent of all direct costs of State food stamp program investigations, prosecutions, and State activities related to recovering losses sustained in the food stamp program.

Specifies information to included in the Secretary's annual report in addition to information already given.