Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation that would stop banning people with drug convictions from receiving food assistance. Senate Bill 1006 would waive a lifetime prohibition on SNAP benefits for Michiganders convicted of felony convictions from two or more separate incidents of drug possession, use, or distribution. State Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint tells us it’s a matter of fairness, as no other crime triggers such a lifetime denial.
“Dangling food over a person’s head and taking it away potentially from their family, their children or themselves as they’re trying to reform themselves and get out of a dangerous cycle seems to me to be unusually cruel and unnecessary.”
Studies show full eligibility for SNAP benefits reduces the probability that someone with a drug conviction will return to prison within a year by 13%. 26 states and Washington D.C. have waived the ban, which was created under federal welfare reform in 1996. Ananich says dropping the ban is a modest investment in turning around someone’s future.