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Ohio House passes bill to require photos on food stamp cards

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Ohio House of Representatives has passed a bill to require photo identification on food stamp cards.

“I feel like it’s a good thing,” said Bianca Edwards who used to use food stamp cards. “If it’s lost or stolen no one else can just pick it up, even if it’s a family member, pick it up, hey this is yours and I know your pin number, and I’m just going to swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe, swipe.

House Bill 50 requires SNAP EBT cards to have a color photograph of at least one member of the household to whom the card is issued. It also requires the cards to list a website and phone number where suspected fraud can be reported.

There are some exceptions to the proposed law. The requirements will not apply to adult household members who :

  • Age 60 or older
  • Are blind
  • Have a disability
  • Are a victim of domestic violence
  • Have religious objections to being photographed

The law also exempts households with no adult members.

“The food stamp program is a lifesaver for thousands of Ohioans, and we must do all we can to ensure the integrity of the program so the truly needy get the assistance they need,” said State Auditor Dave Yost. “By requiring photos on these cards, we’ll deter the abuse of these cards by the unscrupulous – including drug dealers, and put food on the table of our financially troubled neighbors.”

Edwards believes the state could go a step further. She would also like to see a signature or even require SNAP users to show their State ID.

“You need to see a picture ID and your name needs to match up with that credit card, your name and ID need to match up with that food stamp card,” said Edwards.

For one store employee, Ghassan Awad, he likes the idea but feels there’s still an issue.

“Sometimes the problem is if that family member if his son comes in or his daughter or someone from his house, I don’t know how they can deal with, or show us, or prove to us that is his card,” said Awad.

The bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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