Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chupacabra Report

Little state action follows feds' food-stamp warning

By GARY SCHARRER HOUSTON CHRONICLE

AUSTIN — Despite a federal warning for Texas to fix problems with its food stamp program, state leaders temporarily rejected efforts to hire more employees to process a backlog of applications.

But a spokesman for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Friday that state leaders are working on a plan to ensure that more workers are properly hired.

In a letter Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Regional Administer William Ludwig warned Texas officials that future funding could be suspended if the state does not comply with federal rules involving the food stamp program.

The federal government provided more than $3 billion worth of food stamps to eligible Texans last year. The state is obligated to pay for half of the administrative costs.

Texas has not come close to meeting federal requirements to process food stamp applications within 30 days. Last month, nearly 40 percent of food stamp applications were not processed on time. A class-action lawsuit against the state is pending.

“Urgent and immediate correction action is required,” Ludwig said in the letter to Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suchs.

The state's action denying additional employees to handle food stamp applications is stunning, said Celia Hagert, a senior policy analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based group that tracks issues affecting modest-income Texans.

“During this deep economic recession, programs like food stamps, Medicaid and CHIP provide a lifeline for millions of struggling Texans. Those new staff are critical to ensure Texas can get help to families when they need it most,” Hagert said.

The new state budget allows the Health and Human Services Commission to hire an additional 656 employees to handle increased demand for food assistance during the recession.

Last month, 354,429 Harris County residents received $45.9 million worth of food stamps. Most of the recipients were children.

1 Comments:

At 12:26 PM , Blogger liquiddaddy said...

Charly,

Several years ago Susan Zinn, Esq. took the state all the way to the supreme court to enforce a consent decree from the circut court ordering Texas to process Medicaid claims within the time frame specified under Federal law.

This current situation with food stamps is another example of the lengths to which the state will go to do everything it can to deny or delay the basic needs of poor children.

The shame I feel is only out-weighed by the contempt I feel for these utterly disgraceful, evil douche bags.

Thanks for continuing to comment on this; not many others are.

LD

 

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