Missouri lawmakers voted Thursday to lift a lifetime ban from food stamp benefits for people with a drug felony on their record, sending the bill to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The legislation passed the Senate 27-3 and the House 122-19.
Missouri is currently one of only nine states where a felony drug conviction means a lifetime ban from qualifying for food stamps. The ban does not apply to any other crimes.
Under the legislation passed Thursday, drug felons will become eligible if they complete or are participating in a treatment program or are judged as not needing treatment.
They would also have to wait one year after their conviction or release from prison. Those with three drug-related convictions would be banned for life.
“This provides an opportunity for stability for those who have a drug offense in their past,” said Sen. Kiki Curls, a Kansas City Democrat who for years has championed lifting the ban.
| Jason Hancock, firstname.lastname@example.org