Cracking down on "Food Stamp Trafficking" - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Cracking down on "Food Stamp Trafficking"

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) - Republicans in the Wisconsin State Senate want to crack down on food stamp trafficking.  People who receive benefits use what is essentially a state issued debit card to buy food.  But Senator Alberta Darling and other Republicans say they are concerned people are trading those cards for cash or other things such as drugs, weapons, anything that isn't food.

Federal law already prohibits trading those cards for cash and federal lawmakers recently put similar restrictions in place on other types of trafficking.

"At the end of February, the U.S.D.A. issued a regulation that, essentially covers everything that's, that this bill is trying to, trying to cover, so, our position is, its covered already, so, what's the point," says Kris Tazelaar of Second Harvest Food Bank.

A spokesperson for Senator Darling says the reason its important for the state to pass its own law is so that people who violate it can be prosecuted here instead of leaving it to federal law enforcement and the U.S. Attorneys Office.

Kris Tazelaar with the Second Harvest Food Bank says its unlikely the effort will be worthwhile though, as its estimated the fraud rate within the food share program is one percent.

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