PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Families receiving food stamps would have to show photo ID when using electronic benefit cards under legislation being considered in Rhode Island.
Republican state Rep. Patricia Morgan says her proposal would reduce fraud and preserve benefits for needy families. Critics say the proposal is unnecessary, noting federal estimates that only about 1 percent of food stamp benefits are used fraudulently.
Federal rules can make photo ID requirements hard to impose. For instance, food stamps go to an entire household, meaning spouses and older children are allowed to use them.
Massachusetts puts photos directly on electronic benefit cards. A proposal to require food stamp recipients to present ID in Maine was rejected last year by federal officials.
The bill is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday. No vote has been scheduled.
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