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DeJongh Joins Other Governors in Supporting Food Stamp Legislation

Oct. 24, 2007 — Gov. John deJongh Jr. has joined 13 other governors in signing on to a letter of support for critical food stamp legislation as contained in the 2007 Farm Bill, expressing his appreciation to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
The proposed legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently up for vote in the U.S. Senate. The committee is currently finalizing language for the bill's reintroduction, which provides for a renewal of food stamp benefits to families nationwide.
"The impact of this necessary legislation is broad and far reaching," deJongh said, according to a Government House news release. "At the national level, we are taking steps to put our families first and to take care of residents in need of this vital service throughout the Virgin Islands. With this Farm Bill, food stamp legislation is effectively up for renewal. If the U.S. Senate decides not to pass this important legislation, food stamp benefits would cease to be administered in total. That is why I felt it so necessary to be sure to show my support for the efforts being made by the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in marshalling this bill forward."
The joint governors' letter urges Congress to allow states to develop innovative approaches to administer food stamp benefits and requests an expansion of eligibility requirements for those who qualify. Passage of the bill would continue the much-needed relief to families throughout the nation, including residents of the territory.
"The Food Stamp Program is one of our most relied upon benefits for assisting families in need," deJongh said. "I commend Senator Harkin and Senator Chambliss for their leadership in preserving this important program and am pleased to sign on with my colleagues at the National Governor's Association in support of this much-needed measure."
On July 27, the House passed its 2007 Farm Bill: H.R. 2419, the Farm, Nutrition, and Bio-Energy Act of 2007. The nutrition provisions include approximately $4 billion over five years in improvements for the Food Stamp Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), as well as numerous program oversight, reauthorization and technical provisions.
Food stamp benefits are no longer issued in stamp form; instead, they are delivered on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that program participants swipe at the supermarket counter like credit or debit cards. This change has significantly enhanced program integrity while also reducing the stigma associated with receiving food stamps. Virtually all program supporters have called for the program's name to be changed to reflect this transformation in benefit delivery. The House bill would rebrand the Food Stamp Program as the Secure Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and would reauthorize and extend the program and the application of benefits through fiscal year 2012.
On Jan. 31, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson requested that Congress pass legislation making the Food Stamp Program permanent. It was eventually expanded to include Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1971.
The last Farm Bill was passed in 2002 and was signed into law, effectively extending the life of food stamp legislation until this year, when it is set to expire. In order for the program to continue to administer benefits in the territory, the legislation must be renewed with this reauthorization.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill with a final vote of 231-191. The U.S. Senate is currently marking up the bill and is set to vote on its content soon.
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Oct. 24, 2007 -- Gov. John deJongh Jr. has joined 13 other governors in signing on to a letter of support for critical food stamp legislation as contained in the 2007 Farm Bill, expressing his appreciation to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
The proposed legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently up for vote in the U.S. Senate. The committee is currently finalizing language for the bill's reintroduction, which provides for a renewal of food stamp benefits to families nationwide.
"The impact of this necessary legislation is broad and far reaching," deJongh said, according to a Government House news release. "At the national level, we are taking steps to put our families first and to take care of residents in need of this vital service throughout the Virgin Islands. With this Farm Bill, food stamp legislation is effectively up for renewal. If the U.S. Senate decides not to pass this important legislation, food stamp benefits would cease to be administered in total. That is why I felt it so necessary to be sure to show my support for the efforts being made by the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry in marshalling this bill forward."
The joint governors' letter urges Congress to allow states to develop innovative approaches to administer food stamp benefits and requests an expansion of eligibility requirements for those who qualify. Passage of the bill would continue the much-needed relief to families throughout the nation, including residents of the territory.
"The Food Stamp Program is one of our most relied upon benefits for assisting families in need," deJongh said. "I commend Senator Harkin and Senator Chambliss for their leadership in preserving this important program and am pleased to sign on with my colleagues at the National Governor's Association in support of this much-needed measure."
On July 27, the House passed its 2007 Farm Bill: H.R. 2419, the Farm, Nutrition, and Bio-Energy Act of 2007. The nutrition provisions include approximately $4 billion over five years in improvements for the Food Stamp Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), as well as numerous program oversight, reauthorization and technical provisions.
Food stamp benefits are no longer issued in stamp form; instead, they are delivered on electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that program participants swipe at the supermarket counter like credit or debit cards. This change has significantly enhanced program integrity while also reducing the stigma associated with receiving food stamps. Virtually all program supporters have called for the program's name to be changed to reflect this transformation in benefit delivery. The House bill would rebrand the Food Stamp Program as the Secure Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and would reauthorize and extend the program and the application of benefits through fiscal year 2012.
On Jan. 31, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson requested that Congress pass legislation making the Food Stamp Program permanent. It was eventually expanded to include Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1971.
The last Farm Bill was passed in 2002 and was signed into law, effectively extending the life of food stamp legislation until this year, when it is set to expire. In order for the program to continue to administer benefits in the territory, the legislation must be renewed with this reauthorization.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill with a final vote of 231-191. The U.S. Senate is currently marking up the bill and is set to vote on its content soon.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.