Removing Barriers to SNAP for Drug Felons

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

HB 1891 will repeal the ban on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for drug felons who have served their sentences.

Under current law, justice is denied to drug felons who have served their sentences but are permanently banned from accessing public benefits. Statistically, most drug felons are from low income households and struggle to make ends meet. As a result of being banned from accessing public benefits, many drug felons are unable to successfully re-enter society.

The ban disproportionately affects women and children and people of color. Women and children make up the majority of public benefits recipients, and people of color are more likely to be imprisoned for drug felonies and live in poverty. As a result of the ban, children often suffer the consequences of their parents, and people of color are barred from re-entering society.

Repealing the ban will:

– Benefit people impacted by the opioid crisis and provide stability
– Reduce repeat offenses committed out of the need for survival

Nationwide, Bipartisan Trend towards repealing ban

– Since 1996, 41 states and Washington D.C. have opted out of or modified the ban.
– 2015: Texas repealed the drug felony ban on SNAP.
– 2015: Alabama repealed the drug felony bans on SNAP and TANF.
– 2016: Georgia repealed the ban on SNAP.
– 2016: Alaska repealed the ban on SNAP.
– 2017: Louisiana repealed the ban on SNAP.

For more information, contact: Salaam Bhatti, Public Benefits Attorney at

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