State Capitol News
12:14 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Lawmaker Wants Food Stamps to be Bright Orange

Phoenix, AZ – Food stamps have not been paper coupons for years. Instead,
recipients get a debit card that looks a like, well, a debit
card. Rep. Jeff Dial said he is trying to cut down on fraud and
waste.

(My understanding is a lot of people, and I don't know the
numbers yet, are taking the food stamp cards, basically, and
they're selling them, whether it be on Craigslist or to other
individuals. And so I believe they should be used by the intended
person and not be used by third parties or be sold for like 50
cents or 25 cents on the dollar.)

Dial said his goal in those bright orange cards is to notify
retailers that this isn't a regular debit card and that they
should also demand some form of ID. He said it's not to create a
stigma about having to essentially have everyone in line at the
checkout know that the user is getting food stamps. But he said
that might be a side effect.

(If that does concern people that they have a bright orange card,
I hope they go get a better education and a better job and stop
using that card.)

The legality of Dial's plan is unclear. A spokesman for the
Department of Economic Security, which administers the program,
said federal regulations say users of the debit cards cannot be
singled out for treatment different than any other shopper. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.