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Nebraska bill would allow SNAP benefits for drug felons

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska residents with major or multiple felony drug convictions could qualify for federal food assistance under a bill that would repeal the state's current ban.

Sen. Adam Morfeld of Lincoln told a legislative committee Thursday that his proposal would help recently released prisoners get back on their feet and reduce their odds of reoffending. Morfeld says the bill would ultimately save the state money because the benefit is federally funded and cheaper than incarcerating someone who commits a new crime.

Nebraska prohibits people from collecting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits if they were convicted of three felony drug possession charges or one felony distribution charge.

The Department of Health and Human Services opposes the measure, arguing that the prospect of losing SNAP benefits encourages drug users to seek treatment.

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