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Questions remain after two-hour hearing on SNAP benefits

Annapolis Md State House Maryland State Legislature MGA
Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 14:07:33-04

Senators from the Finance Committee convened for an interim meeting to address ongoing issues and questions with regard to SNAP benefit fraud.

One of the main issues they tried to get answered by the Secretary for the Department of Human Services was whether they could or would decide to use state money to reimburse people who've lost money to fraud.

Secretary Lourdes Padilla told the committee, that this was more of an issue for law enforcement.

She also repeatedly told Senators that federal funds can't be used for reimbursement, which was not the question that was asked.

"As we stated, they are federal programs. We follow federal guidance, as to how we may use the programs and how we reimburse if there is EBT fraud." said Secretary Padilla.

She added that, "we are focused on mitigating the EBT fraud."

On Wednesday afternoon, Senate President Bill Ferguson tweeted his statement on the hearing.

"What we heard yesterday from DHS focused on what they have done in the past, but Maryland families, mothers, and children deserve to hear what they will do to protect the most vulnerable among us moving forward. It is truly disheartening for Maryland families; through no fault of their own are being left to navigate a complicated system that is failing to address the rapidly growing fraud sufficiently.
The victims of these crimes depend on SNAP and other benefits to survive. It is wholly unfair for a State with the resources we have to allow our residents to suffer this way. In the interim, the legislature will seek ways to make families whole and ensure we get the answers you deserve from DHS and the administration."