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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2021 01:56 PM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Child Support Coordination and the SNAP Program
Parents are entrusted with the welfare of their children, and that trust includes ensuring their children have adequate food. When parents need financial help providing food for their children, we give aid to ensure every child has access to adequate nutrition. Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, every state has the option to implement a child support cooperation requirement on either custodial or non-custodial parents participating in the program. In the near future I will be reintroducing Senate Bill 505 of last session which proposes to exercise this option in the Commonwealth.

Federal Guidelines provide guidance on this issue for states who take up the options, including notification requirements, good cause expectations (for example, victims of domestic abuse), referrals of individuals to state child support enforcement agencies, disqualification periods and sanctions.

The Commonwealth currently imposes a child-support cooperation requirement for those who apply for TANF and Medicaid. My legislation would extend this type of requirement for those parents who apply for food stamps (officially known as SNAP) by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to opt into the federal option for both custodial and non-custodial parents alike.

As the first-line of support for their children, parents should be given every opportunity to live up to their responsibility. By implementing this requirement for food stamps, we affirm a primary responsibility of a parent and provide due diligence to ensure our aid is being used as intended.

Previous co-sponsors of this legislation include Senators Argall, J. Ward, White, and Regan.

Introduced as SB1132