Under [the] bill, food stamp recipients could not use the program to buy crab, lobster, shrimp or other shellfish. Additionally, they would have to use two-thirds of their benefits on beef, pork, chicken, produce or foods that qualify for the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. The remainder could be used on foods already allowed under the food stamps program, other than shellfish.
The bill passed the Assembly, and is now on the way to the state Senate.
Here is the text of Assembly Bill 177.
I must confess I find the restriction on shrimp a bit odd, given the fact that the price of farmed shrimp relative to ground beef has fallen drastically over the past 17 years. (Only partly because ground beef prices have risen over 200% since 2009M11, according to the BLS.) In fact, aside from the command-and-control nature of the law, the choice seems a bit ethnocentric. (Hamburger chop suey doesn’t strike me as an appealing low cost meal…)
Implementation of the monitoring required for the new restrictions is estimated to cost several million dollars.
* No red potatoes for you! Also no shrimp, in Wisconsin.