Advocates of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will be holding a press conference Tuesday, April 18, at 10:30am in the Iowa State Capitol (south end of the Capitol Rotunda). This is a final plea to Governor Kim Reynolds to veto Senate File 494 – which would kick thousands of Iowans off SNAP and other public assistance programs.
On Thursday, April 13, SF 494 passed the Iowa House without amendment with a vote of 58-41 after nearly four hours of floor debate and 18 proposed amendments. The bill now moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Community advocates have voiced concerns that Iowans will lose access to SNAP and other public assistance programs due to the added administrative hurdles from SF 494. This bill would have an immediate downstream effect as people will turn to food banks and food pantries that are seeing record numbers across the state.
SNAP enrollment in Iowa is currently at a 14-year low while fraud committed by individuals enrolled in SNAP remains at a fraction of a percentile of the ~270,000 active participants in the state. This bill will increase administrative costs by millions and will also establish a third-party vendor to institute administrative oversight that will profit from it all.
Establishing an asset test and additional eligibility verification checks would remove people from the program who struggle to meet the new requirements and discourage people from applying for public assistance programs like SNAP.
Advocates encourage members of the public to contact Gov. Reynold’s office and ask her to veto SF 494.