Take Action and Oppose SSB 1125

A subcommittee meeting for SSB 1125 is scheduled for Monday, February 15, 2021 at 11:30am.

SSB 1125 is a bill in the Iowa Senate’s Commerce Committee. This is a bad bill that would create barriers for people accessing public assistance programs. At a time when too many Iowans are struggling to make ends meet, this bill is the last thing we need.

How You Can Take Action:

Senator Jason Schultz

Senator Liz Mathis

Senator Zach Whiting

More Information on SSB 1125

This bill would decrease access and kick people off the Food Assistance program by establishing an asset limit.

  • It would establish an asset limit for Food Assistance (SNAP) of $2,250 per household or $3,250 for elderly or disabled households. Households with more than one vehicle would be at risk of losing eligibility to Food Assistance benefits.
  • Having a vehicle can be the difference between finding employment or not, especially in rural areas of the state without public transit.
  • Asset limits have been shown to discourage people who are eligible from applying for SNAP, increase administrative costs, and discourage people from saving for emergencies.

This bill would require both custodial and non-custodial parents to cooperate with the child support recovery unit to receive Food Assistance.

  • There is no evidence this type of policy generates significantly more child support payments to custodial households.
  • There is not a way to implement this provision that does not result in taking food away from children.
  • Custodial parents may have an informal arrangement, be a victim of domestic violence, or have other reasons why they have chosen not to seek child support payments from a non-custodial parent.
  • Taking away Food Assistance benefits from a non-custodial parent who cannot afford to pay child support does nothing to improve the financial situation of that parent and their child.
  • The National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) opposed a measure in the 2018 Farm Bill that would require all states to implement cooperation requirements for SNAP.

This bill would create a computerized verification and authentication system for all public assistance programs to be administered by a third-party vendor.

  • The state already has a system in place for income and identity verification. This bill would provide a contract to a private third-party vendor to administer this process instead.
  • This is costly and unnecessary. Last year, LSA estimated that the bill would cost the state over $4.5 million per year to administer.
  • A recent study on SNAP recipients in California found that for every one ineligible household screened out by verification checks, three eligible households also left the program.

This bill would require applicants to complete a computerized identity authentication process in order to access public assistance benefits.

  • This presents a significant access barrier to many people, especially those without internet access, limited credit history, or limited English proficiency.
  • This violates federal USDA FNS regulations concerning identity authentication for Food Assistance.