Tell your Senator to take a stand against attacks on our most vulnerable Missourians--vote NO on HB1443 & SB561!
Write your State Senator here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/043018mm
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Over 900,000 Missourians were living in poverty in 2016 and nearly 290,000 are children. Two bills in the Senate, HB 1443 and SB 561 would punish these Missouri children who have no control over their circumstances. HB 1443 prohibits temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) benefit cards from being used at ATMs or to access cash, and further limits the items that may be purchased with TANF or SNAP benefits. SB 561 changes the requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by punishing people who fail to meet federal work requirements for SNAP by cutting off benefits and, if they are the head of household, cutting of the entire household as well.
Indivisible Missouri opposes HB 1443 & SB 561 because children shouldn't be punished for the acts of their parents!
HB 1443 places further restrictions on purchases using SNAP and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits. Under HB 1443, an individual who purchases a prohibited item or makes a purchase in a prohibited establishment using SNAP or TANF funds could lose TANF benefits for a period of five years. TANF funds help families in poverty pay for essential living expenses. Children should not have to suffer the traumatic consequences of losing this necessary benefit due to a parent’s ill-considered action.
Children would be punished for their parents’ actions and forced to go without benefits for three to six months or permanently through no fault of their own. Under HB 1443, if a disqualified individual is the head of a household, the household would then be ineligible to receive TANF benefits for a period of three months, six months, or five years. To withhold these benefits as punishment is utterly unconscionable.
Families should not be cut off from accessing much needed cash for essential items. HB 1443 would prohibit using a SNAP or TANF EBT card at an ATM or from receiving cash back on a purchase. Not every item a family needs can be purchased with an electronic card. Cutting off access to cash can devastate an already needy family. Some need cash to pay rent, transportation, school expenses, or other necessities.
SB 561 changes the requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by punishing people who fail to meet federal work requirements for SNAP by cutting off benefits and, if they are the head of household, cutting of the entire household as well. In other words through no fault of their own, children will be at risk of having less food or going without food due to the actions of their parents. For families living in extreme poverty meeting these requirements can be incredibly difficult if not impossible. Employers can cut hours, employees can be ill or need to care for sick children, all of which could reduce work hours. To withhold food benefits as punishment is utterly unconscionable.
Children could go without nutritional benefits for up to 180 days by no fault of their own. SB 561 would punish children for their parents’ actions. This is unacceptable as the SNAP program serves 378,373 households and 810,000 Missourians per month. If a disqualified individual is the head of a household, the household would then be ineligible to participate in SNAP for up to 180 days.
Hunger causes stress and stress is harmful for a child’s mental and physical development. If a child lives with the stress of food insecurity, it can lead to lasting damage to health, learning, and behavior. “The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation.”* We must insure that all Missouri children have the nutrition they need.
Sample Call Script:
“Hi, my name is __________, I'm a constituent from ___________, and I am calling to ask Senator ________to vote NO on HB 1483 and SB 561 because _____________.”