Target: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Goal: Don’t enact regressive ban on what products can be bought with food stamps.
Recipients of food stamps in Wisconsin will soon have a much more difficult time buying basic staple food items like dried beans and pasta sauce if Republican legislation being voted on in the state legislature becomes law. The diets of Americans living in poverty do not need to be policed by conservative lawmakers. Demand that this regressive proposal be vetoed so that it can never hurt poor families.
In efforts to combat families benefiting from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program—commonly known as SNAP or food stamps—from living too “decadent” a lifestyle on the government’s dime, conservatives around the country have taken to micromanaging what food stamps can and cannot be used on. Wisconsin is the latest state to try to enact such restrictive diet policing.
According to the legislation in question, Wisconsinites benefiting from food stamps would not be allowed to use them to buy such items as canned tuna and shellfish, and would face tight restrictions on the amount they could get of such staple food items as nuts, potatoes, and dried beans. Apparently, such foods are just too “luxurious” to be enjoyed by people on governmental assistance.
The restrictions contained in this proposal are based on a myth that, somehow, people who are benefiting from assistance are doing so just for a free ride from the government, instead of because they need it in order to not starve to death. Sign the petition below to demand that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker veto this bill when it arrives on his desk so that it can never hurt Americans living in poverty.
Dear Governor Walker,
I am writing you today regarding Assembly Bill 177, a proposal that will more than likely arrive on your desk in the very near future. While you may be tempted to sign it into law, such a move would be a grave mistake for your state.
Assembly Bill 177 is bad for Wisconsinites and bad for your state’s finances. It would do two things: it would place a battery of restrictions on what Wisconsinites benefitting from food stamps could buy, and it would demand a retinue of infrastructure updates across your state to ensure that those restrictions are met.
You should be worried about the money it would take to implement these changes. To be frank, your state cannot afford it. Estimates put the cost at several million dollars, which would be significantly more than existing departmental budgets could account for. The costs would have to come from new revenue, which, as you know, would be impossible because you are preparing to significantly cut your state budget in the very near future, before these restrictions would likely be put into effect.
Assembly Bill 177 would put countless families in your state at risk of not getting the food they need to survive and would drive your state into debt. I demand that you veto it when it arrives on your desk so that it can never hurt Wisconsin.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United States Department of Agriculture