Proposal to bar "deadbeat" parents from Food Share benefits - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Proposal to bar "deadbeat" parents from Food Share benefits

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Madison (WKOW) -- Deadbeat parents would no longer qualify for a major form of public assistance under a proposal introduced by Republican state lawmakers.

If you're at least 90 days delinquent on child support payments, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis) believes you should no longer qualify for Food Share benefits.

It's a restriction that was actually in place until 2007, when Governor Jim Doyle (D) removed it - allowing about 500 deadbeat parents access to Food Share.

Rep. Sanfelippo's bill would also apply to men unwilling to take a paternity test to prove whether they fathered a child.

"And one important thing to remember is that if you are in that position where you have these child support payments to make and you go through a rough patch of time - courts are very willing to work with individuals to adjust the amount of money that has to be paid to help you through those rough times," said Rep. Sanfelippo. "So there is really no excuse."

Sanfelippo said he does not have updated numbers on how many people the bill would bar from receiving Food Share benefits, but he believes its far higher than the 2007 number because of how much the federal Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - formerly known as food stamps - has expanded nationally.

Federal law allows for the change, which means the state would not need to seek a waiver from the Trump administration to implement it.

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