Trump tightens SNAP requirements; Cuomo takes out fingerprint requirements
Dec 11, 2019 12:43 am
Cayla Harris reports for the Times Union that the policy war between Washington D.C. and Albany intensified this week. The Trump administration tightened work requirements for applicants to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program last week, cutting many poor people off from food access. So this week, New York announced that starting Jan. 15 the state will no longer use finger-imaging technology to confirm the identities of individuals applying for public assistance. New York had already stopped using fingerprinting technology to verify SNAP applicants, but now Family and Safety Net assistance is also exempt from finger-imaging. “These programs are designed to help New Yorkers during their time of need, which is why it is important for us to remove any unnecessary barriers that might prevent them from seeking assistance,” Justin Mason, a spokesperson for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, said. New York has been phasing out the fingerprinting requirements for public assistance programs since 2012, so the timing may be a coincidence. Still, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was upset about the federal changes last week that may keep 100,000 New Yorkers from access to what was formerly called food stamps. "With this rule change, President Trump is using a federal agency he controls to continue his egregious assault on those Americans most in need,” Cuomo said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.