More BREAKING: Feds Warn LePage Admin Stop EBT Photo ID Rollout, Else Risk Lawsuits, Loss of $$$
Whoopsie. Via Rep. Chellie Pingree’s office:
Feds warn state to stop rollout of EBT photo identification until further review
USDA says not doing so brings threats of lawsuits and loss of funding
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree today voiced her agreement with concerns raised in a letter the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sent to the state regarding plans to require ID photos on EBT cards.
“The USDA’s letter is another message that adding this burden on families and retailers is not the right direction for the state. It doesn’t do anything to prevent fraud, but it does make it harder for people to access the benefits they need to feed their families,” said Pingree. “The USDA clearly said that the state opens itself to a number of risks if it goes forward with this plan, including possible litigation and loss of federal funding. I hope the state takes this as an opportunity to reconsider its plans.”
The letter states that the state has not given USDA enough time to determine whether the state’s implementation plan adequately addresses the agency’s concerns, including whether safeguards are adequate to protect beneficiaries’ rights and how effectively retailers have been notified of changes.
“Therefore, Maine should delay any implementation until FNS can fully review and approve the State’s plan,” USDA said in its letter. “Given the risk of losing Federal financial participation, as well as the risk for litigation against the State should the State’s implementation of the photo EBT card violate provisions of the Food and Nutrition Act or SNAP regulations, Maine should not rush into implementation.”
Earlier today, Pingree spoke with USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon to voice her concerns about the state’s plans and to ask the agency to give them a thorough review.
Here is the letter: