Florida House panel rejects food stamp sweets ban

A Florida House panel has rejected a proposal to ban using food stamps to purchase sweets, potato chips and other junk food.

An appropriations subcommittee on Monday stripped the provision from a bill (HB 1401) that also would ban welfare recipients from using debit-like cards to access cash benefits outside of Florida or at strip clubs, liquor stores, bars and gambling establishments.

The panel then approved the truncated bill 9-5.

Several members who voted for it, though, warned the sponsor they would oppose a similar Senate bill (SB 1658) that still contains the food stamp provision if it should pass in that chamber or any effort to restore the ban to the House version.

Opponents of the proposed food stamp limits said it would infringe on recipients' freedom of choice.

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