Yesterday evening, the Iowa Senate passed Senate File 494 on a 34-16 party line vote, the same day a fiscal note was released for the bill. Similar pieces of legislation have passed the Senate before, and we have always known our fight is in the House. We are not discouraged by the passage of SF 494. Rather, we are re-energized to stop this harmful piece of legislation.
SF 494 and a similar bill in the House, HF 613, would remove Iowans from SNAP and other public assistance programs and increase hunger and food insecurity in the state. They would increase SNAP administrative costs to the state of Iowa in an effort to make it more difficult for struggling Iowans to access nutrition benefits.
Make no mistake – Iowans would be harmed by these bills. Families would be harmed. Children would be harmed. Seniors would be harmed. People with disabilities would be harmed. Food banks and food pantries would be harmed. Other nonprofit organizations and social service agencies would be harmed. Local grocery stores would be harmed. Rural communities would be harmed. Farmers would be harmed. Iowa’s economy would be harmed.
We hope the legislators who supported SF 494 felt a pang of guilt when they cast their ‘yes’ vote.