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USDA Promises More Power to States on SNAP Rules

States can enjoy greater local control of how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) benefits are administered, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

While the USDA did not spell out the implications of its new policy, Politico reported it could result in states putting in place new requirements for drug testing of participants and perhaps other oversight measures.

In fact, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker recently said he would put in place drug testing for food stamp applicants. That was a move that the Obama administration had blocked before.

The USDA said it would provide more details about the new state flexibilities in coming weeks.

“SNAP was created to provide people with the help they need to feed themselves and their families, but it was not intended to be a permanent lifestyle,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a news release. “We want to provide the nutrition people need, but we also want to help them transition from government programs, back to work, and into lives of independence.”

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