|Posted:||February 17, 2017 12:19 PM|
|From:||Representative Tarah Toohil|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing uniform timeframe for distribution of SNAP benefits in Pennsylvania|
|In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation that would establish a uniform statewide time period for the distribution of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits based on concerns raised during a Senate Majority Policy Committee public hearing on June 14, 2016. This legislation is a House companion to Senators David G. Argall, Guy Reschenthaler, Patrick J. Stefano’s legislation.
Other states have set timeframes for the disbursement of SNAP benefits on a statewide level. For example, Florida recently updated their statewide distribution schedule to span from 15 days to 28 days which was phased in over a two-month period.
Pennsylvania, however, distributes on a county-by-county basis. There are three different schedules counties follow, depending on the number of recipients of SNAP benefits in that particular county. Several rural counties distribute SNAP benefits over one day each month; several rural and some larger counties distribute over a two-day period each month; while a third of the state, mostly larger counties, distribute benefits over a 10-day period.
Retailers that testified at the Policy Committee hearing argued that spacing out the distribution of SNAP benefits over the course of a month will allow their stores to be properly stocked and staffed. They advocate spreading out payments over a fixed period to help provide consistent product availability and effectively meet the needs of customers who receive and use SNAP benefits.
This legislation would establish a uniform timeframe of when SNAP benefits would be distributed by the state.
Introduced as HB877