Governor Scott Walker Signs Bill to Prevent Food Stamp Trafficking


by Katie Hustad

 MADISON --  Governor Scott Walker signed Assembly 82 into law at the Wisconsin State Capitol July 22nd.

The bill places a criminal penalty on the trafficking of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (FoodShare).

“This bill gives the state additional options to ensure Wisconsin’s FoodShare benefits are being properly used by those in need and it aligns state law with federal regulations,” Governor Walker said.  

The law now states that trafficking Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits now constitutes a criminal offense and is subject to criminal penalties ranging from fines and administration sanctions to Class G felony.
Assembly Bill 82 defines the following transactions as trafficking:
 Buying, selling, stealing, or otherwise exchanging SNAP benefits for cash or other consideration.
 Exchanging firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances for SNAP benefits.
 Using SNAP benefits to purchase food that has a container deposit for the sole purpose of 
returning the container for a cash refund. 
 Reselling food purchased with SNAP benefits.
 Purchasing food that was previously purchased with SNAP benefits.
 Any other act defined as SNAP trafficking under federal law.
Senator Alberta Darling, co-chair of the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, has issued the following statement, "I applaud Governor Walker for signing this important protection for taxpayers...This new law will help prevent fraud and make sure FoodShare benefits are available to people who really need them...Depending on the value being trafficked, a person could face up to $25,000 in fines and be sentenced to jail for up to 10 years. That's a substantial penalty which hopefully will decrease the market for fraud and save substantial money for taxpayers." 



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