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Illinois Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Over New Food Stamp Rules

Jan 31, 2020  | Ep4524

Illinois is joining a multi-state lawsuit over proposed Trump administration rules on food stamps that could cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose their benefits. The rule is expected to go into effect in April. It will limit states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment to receive benefits. The rule is among three targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Program, known as SNAP.  Illinois could be among the hardest-hit states. State officials say there are over 140,000 people statewide in the affected category. Attorney General Kwame Raoul's office announced Illinois role in the lawsuit Thursday. 

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois joined a multi-state lawsuit over proposed Trump administration rules on food stamps that could cause hundreds of thousands of Americans to lose benefits, Attorney General Kwame Raoul confirmed Thursday.

The rule, expected to go into effect in April, limits states from exempting work-eligible adults from having to maintain steady employment in order to receive benefits. The rule is among three targeting the Supplemental Nutrition Program, known as SNAP.

Illinois could be hit hard. There are over 140,000 residents in the affected category; they're able-bodied without dependents, according to state officials.

The lawsuit claims the rule undermines the nutrition program's intent and the U.S. Department of Agriculture violated the rulemaking process. The complaint said the loss of SNAP benefits will lead to more homeless as people divert their limited means to food instead of housing.

"The USDA's arbitrary rule punishes people who live in poverty and disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable residents and communities of color," Raoul said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which names the USDA and its secretary, seeks an injunction.

A USDA spokesman declined comment citing pending litigation.

Attorneys general in more than a dozen states, including Michigan, brought the lawsuit, first filed in January in Washington D.C.

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