Hill passes food stamp bill

Hill passes food stamp bill

The House last week unanimously passed a bill to standardize state-run electronic benefits transfer programs for food stamps.

The Senate in November passed the EBT Interoperability and Portability Act of 1999.

The bill, S 1733, awaits President Clinton's signature.'By directing states to implement a uniform smart-card system within seven months of enactment, the bill would streamline a patchwork of systems and regulations.

'The bill requires the Agriculture Department to set specific standards for states with EBT systems so that Food Stamp participants can redeem their benefits in neighboring states,' said Rep. Larry Combest (R-Texas).

The bill is the second amendment to the Food Stamp Act of 1977 that sets EBT requirements. In a 1996 amendment, Congress directed states to create EBT systems.

'Unfortunately, there is a lack of uniformity among state EBT systems,' said Rep. Charles W. Stenholm (D-Texas).

'William Jackson, Bill Murray, Patricia Daukantas and Shruti Dat'

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