Governor Scott Walker has signed into law a measure designed to help crack down on food stamp trafficking.
The bill that passed with bipartisan support in the Legislature would expand definitions in state law of what constitutes illegal food stamp trafficking.
Walker signed it privately in the Capitol on Monday.
The law brings Wisconsin into line with the federal government's new expanded definition of food stamp trafficking. Trafficking occurs in most cases when food stamp recipients sell their benefit cards online and in the open market and then apply for free replacements.
Governor Walker's office released a statement that said Assembly Bill 82 defines the following transactions as trafficking:
- Buying, selling, stealing, or otherwise exchanging SNAP benefits for cash or other consideration.
- Exchanging firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances for SNAP benefits.
- Using SNAP benefits to purchase food that has a container deposit for the sole purpose of returning the container for a cash refund.
- Reselling food purchased with SNAP benefits.
- Purchasing food that was previously purchased with SNAP benefits.
- Any other act defined as SNAP trafficking under federal law.
In any given month about 15 percent of Wisconsin's population, or 850,000 people, receive food stamp benefits.
"This bill gives the state additional options to ensure Wisconsin's FoodShare benefits are being properly used by those in need and it aligns state law with federal regulations," Governor Walker said in a statement. "I thank Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Powers Lake) and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) for their work on this bill, which received strong bipartisan support."