The Associated Press reports that a growing number of states are scaling back the federal felony drug ban in order to increase access to public assistance for people with felony drug convictions. The 1996 federal welfare overhaul bill imposed a lifetime ban on food stamps and cash assistance for anyone convicted of a drug felony offense, but gave states the ability to opt out of the ban.
Alabama, Texas and a number of other states have decided in recent years to end or scale back the federal food stamp ban, which each state has the option to do. Georgia is expected to end its ban soon, leaving only eight states with a lifetime prohibition — Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia. A bill to lift Nebraska’s ban was thwarted by a procedural move after receiving majority support this spring, but proponents hope to bring it back again next year.
Read the full article at the Associated Press.