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SNAP Legislative History - 70s

Click on each title to see a summary of the laws. Information concerning each public law is also located at the Library of Congress.

1971
Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policy Act of 1970

PL 91-646, 84 Stat. 1894-1907 (Jan. 2, 1971)

  • Excluded reimbursements from FSP income and resources.
Amendments to The Food Stamp Act of 1964

PL 91-671, 84 Stat. 2048-2052 (Jan. 11, 1971)

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act

PL 92-203, 85 Stat. 688-716 (Dec. 18, 1971)

  • All compensation (including cash, stock, partnership interest, land, interest in land, and other benefits) received under this Act are excluded from income and resources.
1972
Social Security Amendments of 1972

​​​PL 92-603, 86 Stat. 1329-1493 (Oct. 30, 1972)

  • Prohibited any person who is eligible (or upon application would be eligible) to receive SSI benefits under title XVI of such Act to be considered to be a member of a household or an elderly person for purposes of the FSA.
  • Amended definition of "state agency" to mean the agency of state government which is designated by the Secretary for purposes of carrying out the FSA in such state.
  • Deleted PL 91-671 amendment providing that PA applicants for FSP benefits be certified for eligibility solely by execution of an affidavit by the member of such household making application.
  • Mandated that state agencies undertake the certification of applicant households in accordance with the general procedures and personnel standards "prescribed by the Secretary in the regulations issued pursuant to this act". Had been "used by them in the certification of applicants for benefits under the federally aided public assistance programs".
  • Deleted PL 91-671 amendment allowing households to have the charges, if any, for their coupon allotment deducted from any grant or payment such household may be entitled to receive under any federally aided public assistance program and have their coupon allotment distributed to them with such grant or payment.
  • Deleted PL 91-671 amendment stating that no person shall be charged with a violation of this or any other Act, or of any regulation issued under this or any other Act, or of any state plan of operation on the basis of any statements or information contained in a filed PA affidavit, except for fraud.
1973
Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973

PL 93-86, 87 Stat. 221-250 (Aug. 10, 1973)

  • Amended definition of "household" to include any narcotics addict or alcoholic who lives under the supervision of a private nonprofit organization or institution for the purpose of regular participation in a drug or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.
  • Prohibited any individual who received SSI benefits under title XVI of the SSA to be considered a member of a household or an elderly person for any purpose of the FSA for any month if such person received for such month, as part of his SSI benefits or payments, an amount equal to the bonus value of food stamps in addition to the amount of assistance such individual would be entitled to receive. Secretary of HEW to issue regulations to implement this provision after consultation with the Secretary of USDA.
  • Added definition of "drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program" to mean any drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program conducted by a private nonprofit organization or institution which is certified by the state agency or agencies responsible for the administration of the state's programs for alcoholics and drug addicts pursuant to "Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Prevention, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Act" (PL 91-616) and "Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972" (PL 92-255) as providing treatment that can lead to the rehabilitation of drug addicts or alcoholics.
  • Secretary to establish uniform national standards of eligibility for narcotics addicts or alcoholics who live under the supervision of a private nonprofit organization or institution for the purpose of regular participation in a drug or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program.
  • Excluded narcotics addicts and alcoholics who regularly participate, as residents or non residents, in any drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program from program work requirements.
  • Permitted narcotics addicts or alcoholics who regularly participate in a drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation program to use coupons to purchase food prepared for or served to them during the course of such program by a private nonprofit organization or institution which meet the requirements contained in this act.
  • Provided that income and resource eligibility standards take into account payments in kind received from an employer by members of a household, if such payments are in lieu of or supplemental to household income.
  • Permitted the establishment of temporary emergency standards of eligibility, without regard to income and other financial resources, for households that are victims of a mechanical disaster which disrupts the distribution of coupons.
  • Provided for the issuance of coupon allotments no less often than two times per month.
  • Any household participating in the program entitled to have the charges, if any, for its coupon allotment deducted from its AFDC and have its coupon allotment distributed to it with such grant. PL 91-671 allowed allotment charges to be deducted from any grant or payment such household may be entitled to receive under any federally aided public assistance program. This authority was revoked under PL 92-603).
  • Required states to submit, prior to Jan. 1, 1974, plans of operation specifying the manner in which such state agency intended to conduct the FSP in every political subdivision in the state, unless the state could demonstrate it was impracticable to extend the program to particular subdivisions. Secretary to approve or disapprove plans in sufficient time to permit institution of plans no later than June 30, 1974.
  • Household members sixty years of age or over or elderly persons and their spouses allowed to use coupons to purchase meals prepared by senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by elderly persons, any public or nonprofit private school which prepares meals especially for elderly persons, any public or nonprofit private eating establishment which prepares meals especially for elderly persons during special hours, and any other public or nonprofit private establishment approved for such purpose by the Secretary when an appropriate state or local agency contracts with a private establishment to offer, at concessional prices, meals prepared especially for elderly persons during regular or special hours.
  • Amended definition of "food" to mean any food or food product for home consumption except alcoholic beverages and tobacco and shall also include seeds and plants for use in gardens to produce food for the personal consumption of the eligible household.
  • Provided for the semiannual adjustment by the nearest dollar increment that is a multiple of two to reflect changes in the prices of food published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor to be implemented commencing with the allotments of Jan. 1, 1974, incorporating the changes in the prices of food through Aug. 31, 1973, but in no event shall such adjustments be made for value of the coupon allotment for such households, as calculated above, is a minimum of $2.
  • Allowed members of eligible households living in the state of Alaska to purchase hunting and fishing equipment for the purpose of procuring food for the household except firearms, ammunition, and other explosives, with coupons if the Secretary determined that
    • such households are located in an area of the state which makes it extremely difficult for members to reach retail food stores, and
    • such households depend to a substantial extent on hunting and fishing for subsistence purposes.
  • Amended definition of "retail food store" to include senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by elderly persons, any public or nonprofit private school which prepares meals especially for elderly persons, any public or nonprofit private eating establishment which prepares meals especially for elderly persons during special hours, and any other public or nonprofit private establishment approved for such purpose by the Secretary. Definition also included private nonprofit organizations or institutions which meet act requirements and operate drug addiction or alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation programs.
  • Permitted residents of federally subsidized housing for the elderly, built under either section 202 of the Housing Act of 1959 (PL 86-372), or section 236 of the National Housing Act to be considered households and not residents of an institution or boarding house for purposes of eligibility for food stamps.
Domestic Volunteer Services Act of 1973

PL 93-113, 87 Stat. 394-417 (Oct. 1, 1973)

  • Payments under Title I of this act, including payments from such Title I programs as VISTA, University Year for Action, and Urban crime Prevention Program, to volunteers shall be excluded for those individuals receiving food stamps or PA at the time they joined the Title I program, except that households which were receiving an income exclusion for a Vista or other Title I Subsistence allowance at the time of conversion to the FSA of 1977 shall continue to receive an income exclusion for VISTA for the length of their volunteer contraction in effect at the time of conversion. New applicants who were not receiving PA or food stamps at the time they joined VISTA shall have these volunteer payments included as earned income.
  • Payments to volunteers under Title II, including the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Foster Grandparents Program and Senior Companion Program, are excluded from income.
Cost-of-Living Increases in Social Security Benefits

PL 93-233, 87 Stat. 947-974 (Dec. 31, 1973)

  • Effective only for the six month period beginning Jan. 1, 1974 and ending July 1, 1974, recipients of SSI benefits under title XVI of the SSA were eligible for FSP benefits. However, these individuals plus those who received state supplementary payments under section 1616 of the SSA, or payments of the type referred to in section 212(a) of PL 93-66 could not be considered to be a member of a household or an elderly person for purposes of the FSA for any month during this period, if, for such month, such individual resided in a state which provided state supplementary payments of the type described in section 1616(a) of the SSA, and the level of which was found by the Secretary of HEW to have been specifically increased so as to include the bonus value of food stamps (cash-out states).
1974
Disaster Relief Act Amendments of 1974

PL 93-288, 88 Stat. 143-164 (May 22, 1974)

  • Authorized the President, whenever he determines that, as a result of a major disaster, low-income households are unable to purchase adequate amounts of nutritious food, to distribute through the Secretary of Agriculture or other appropriate agencies, coupon allotments to such households pursuant to the provisions of the FSA of 1964 (PL 91-671) and to make surplus commodities available. President may continue to make such coupon allotments and surplus commodities available to such households for so long as he determines necessary.
Food Stamp Eligibility Extension

PL 93-335, 88 Stat. 291-292 (July 8, 1974)

  • Expanded effective period of the provisions of PL 93-233, above, from six to 18 months (from Jan. 1, 1974 to July 1, 1975).
Domestic Food Assistance Program

PL 93-347, 88 Stat. 340-341 (July 12, 1974)

  • Authorized the Secretary to pay to each state agency an amount equal to 50 percent of all administrative costs, including, but not limited to, the cost of:
    1. the certification of households;
    2. the acceptance, storage, and protection of coupons after their delivery to receiving points within the states;
    3. the issuance of coupons;
    4. outreach and fair hearing requirements; and
    5. the control and accounting of coupons.
  • Each state required to report to the Secretary on the effectiveness of its administration of the FSP and no such payment shall be made to any State unless the Secretary is satisfied that an adequate number of qualified personnel are employed by the state to administer the program efficiently and effectively.
Amend Title VII of the Older Americans Act

PL 93-351, 88 Stat. 357-358 (July 12, 1974)

  • Secretary required, within 90 days after the date of enactment of this act, to issue regulations clarifying the use of food stamps under this title
PL 93-531

88 Stat. 1712-1722 (Dec. 22, 1974)

  • Excluded from income and resources relocation assistance payments to members of the Navajo and Hopi Tribes.
1975 Appropriations Bill

PL 93-563, 88 Stat. 1823-1842 (Dec. 31, 1974)

  • Provided that no part of the funds appropriated by this Act shall be used during the FY ending June 30, 1975 to make food stamps available to any household, to the extent that the entitlement otherwise available to such household is attributable to an individual who:

    (i) has reached his eighteenth birthday;
    (ii) is enrolled in an institution of higher education; and
    (iii) is properly claimed as a dependent child for federal income tax purposes by a taxpayer who is not a member of an eligible household.
1975
To Suspend Increases in the Costs of Coupons

PL 94-4, 89 Stat. 6 (Feb. 20, 1975)

  • Provided that the charge imposed on any household for a coupon allotment under the FSA after the date of enactment of this Act and prior to Dec. 30, 1975, could not exceed the charge that would have been imposed on such household for such coupon allotment under rules and regulations promulgated under such Act and in effect Jan. 1, 1975. (Blocked an Administration proposal to increase all food stamp purchase requirements to the maximum allowed by law [30 percent of net household income], and, consequently, reduce benefits and cut back participation.)
To amend section 1113 of the Social Security Act

PL 94-44, 89 Stat. 235 (June 28, 1975)

  • Expanded the effective period of the provisions of PL 93-233 above, from 6 to 30 months (Jan. 1, 1974 to July 1, 1976).
PL 94-114

89 Stat. 577-579 (Oct. 17, 1975)

  • Excluded from income and resources income derived from certain submarginal land held in trust for certain Indian tribes. The tribes that benefit are:
    • Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin
    • Blackfeet Tribe
    • Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
    • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
    • Crow Creek Sioux Tribe
    • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
    • Devils Lake Sioux Tribe
    • Fort Belknap Indian Community
    • Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes
    • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
    • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
    • Minnesota Chippewa Tribe
    • Navajo Tribe
    • Oglala Sioux Tribe
    • Rosebud Sioux Tribe
    • Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
    • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
1976 Appropriations Bill

PL 94-122, 89 Stat. 642-667 (Oct. 21, 1975)

  • Continued prohibition against participation of tax dependent college students in the FSP, as set forth in PL 93-563, through Sept. 30, 1976.
To Amend Title XVIII of the Social Security Act

PL 94-182, 89 Stat. 1051-1056 (Dec. 31, 1975)

  • Extended the final date for compliance with regulations implementing AFDC withholding of FSP purchase requirements from coupon allotments until Oct. 1, 1976.
PL 94-189

89 Stat. 1093 (Dec. 31, 1975)

  • Excluded from income and resources funds distributed per capita to the Sac and Fox Indians or held in trust.
1976
Emergency Food Stamp Vendor Accountability Act of 1976

PL 94-339, 90 Stat. 799-801 (July 5, 1976)

  • Required that coupon vendors promptly deposit charges made for coupon allotments in the manner prescribed by the Secretary, provided that, at a minimum, the deposits be made weekly, and that, at a minimum, upon accumulation of a balance on hand of $1,000 or more, such deposits be made within two banking days following accumulation of such amount. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of violating this provision, to be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
  • Coupon vendors receiving charges made for coupon allotments to be deemed to be receiving such funds as fiduciaries of the Federal Government, and such coupon vendors shall immediately set aside all such funds as funds of the Federal Government. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of violating these requirements to be fined not more than $10,000, or a sum equal to the amount of funds involved in the violation, whichever is the greater, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, if the amount of such funds is greater than $1,000 or fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, if the amount of such funds is less than $1,000.
  • Coupon vendors to immediately send a written notice to the State agency, accompanied by an appropriate voucher, confirming any deposit of funds derived from charges made for coupon allotments. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of failing to provide this required notice of deposit, to be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
  • Each coupon vendor to send to the Secretary, or his designee, a written report on a monthly basis of the vendor's operations during this period under the FSP. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of failing to provide this report to be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Any of these entities who knowingly reports false information to be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
  • Secretary may require state agencies to provide periodic reports to the Secretary, or his designee, containing a consolidation of the respective coupon vendor's notices to such State agencies at such intervals as the Secretary deems appropriate.
  • Secretary and the U.S. Postal Service to jointly arrange for the prompt deposit of funds collected by the Postal Service on behalf of a State from charges made for coupon allotments.
  • Secretary to develop an appropriate procedure for determining and monitoring the level of coupon inventories in the hands of vendors to insure that the inventories are at proper levels. Secretary may require periodic reports from such coupon vendors respecting the level of such inventories. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of failing to provide a report under this subsection to be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both. Any of these entities who knowingly provides false information in any required report under this subsection to be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
  • Secretary to prescribe appropriate procedures for the delivery of coupons to coupon vendors and for the custody, care, control, and storage of coupons in the hands of coupon vendors to secure such coupons against theft, embezzlement, misuse, loss, or destruction. Any coupon vendor, or any officer, employee, or agent thereof, convicted of violating any regulations issued under this provision to be fined not more than $3,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
  • Added definition of "coupon vendor" to mean any person, partnership, corporation, organization, political subdivision, or other entity with which a State agency has contracted for, or to which it has delegated administrative responsibility in connection with, the issuance of coupons to households.
1977 Appropriations Bill

PL 94-351, 90 Stat. 852-868 (July 12, 1976)

  • Continued prohibition against participation of tax dependent college students in the FSP, as set forth in PL 93-563, through Sept. 30, 1977.
Extension of Eligibility of Supplemental Security Income Recipients

PL 94-365, 90 Stat. 990 (July 14, 1976)

  • Expanded effective period of the provisions of PL 93-233, above, from Jan. 1, 1974 to June 1, 1977.
PL 94-379

90 Stat. 1111 (Aug. 10, 1976)

  • To permit a state which no longer qualifies or hold harmless treatment under the Supplemental Security Income Program to elect to remain a food stamp cash-out
  • Permitted California to remain an SSI cash-out State even though it could not meet certain previously imposed requirements for this status.
PL 94-540

90 Stat. 2503 (Oct. 18, 1976)

  • Excluded from income and resources payments from the disposition of funds to the Grand River Band of Ottawa Indians.
To Amend the Social Security Act

PL 94-585, 90 Stat. 2901-2902 (Oct. 21, 1976)

  • AFDC purchase requirement withholding permanently made optional for each State agency. Had previously been mandated by PL 93-86.
1977
Food Stamp Eligibility for Supplemental Security Income Recipients

PL 95-59, 91 Stat. 255-256 (June 30, 1977)

  • Expanded effective period of the provisions of PL 93-233, above, from Jan. 1, 1974 to Sept. 30, 1978.
1978 Appropriations Bill

PL 95-97, 91 Stat. 810-828 (Aug. 12, 1977)

  • Continued prohibition against participation of tax dependent college students in the FSP, as set forth in PL 93-563, through Sept. 30, 1978.
Food and Agriculture Act of 1977

PL 95-113, 91 Stat. 913-1045 (Sept. 29, 1977)

  • Click here for the summary report.
1978
Insular Territories Authorization Amendment

PL 95-348, 92 Stat. 487-496 (Aug. 18, 1978)

  • Authorized implementation of the FSP in all or part of the Northern Mariana Islands at the Governor's request and allowed distribution of federally donated foods in any part of the Northern Mariana Islands for which the Governor has not requested that the FSP be implemented. Authority to remain in effect through Sept. 30, 1981.
Workfare Provisions of the Food Stamp Act of 1977

PL 95-400, 92 Stat. 856 (Sept. 30, 1978)

  • Extended deadline for submitting a final report to Congress on the workfare demonstration project mandated by the Food Stamp Act of 1977 from 18 months to Oct. 1, 1980. Provided for the submission of an interim report on this project by Oct. 1, 1979.
PL 95-433

92 Stat. 1047 (Oct. 10, 1978)

  • Excluded from income and resources Indian Claims Commission payments made pursuant to this public law to the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Indian Nation and the Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation.
1979 Appropriations Bill

PL 95-448, 92 Stat, 1073 (Oct. 11, 1978)

  • Continued prohibition against participation of tax dependent college students in the FSP, as set forth in PL 93-563, through Sept. 30, 1979.
1979
Food Stamp Act Amendments of 1979

PL 96-58, 93 Stat. 389-392 (Aug. 14, 1979)

  • Mandated that the Secretary submit by the 15th day of each month, a report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate setting forth the Secretary's best estimate of the second preceding month's expenditure, including administrative costs, as well as the cumulative totals for the fiscal year. The Secretary required in each report to state whether there is reason to believe that allotment reductions will be necessary.
  • In prescribing the manner in which allotments will be reduced, the Secretary must ensure that the reductions reflect the ratio of household income to the income standards of eligibility for households of equal size. The Secretary may establish:
    1. special provisions applicable to persons sixty years of age or over and persons who are physically or mentally handicapped or otherwise disabled, and
    2. minimum allotments after any reductions are otherwise determined.
  • Secretary to take action to reduce allotments not later than 60 days after issuance of a 15th of the month report saying an allotment reduction is required.
  • Secretary to report to the appropriate committees of the House and Senate not later than 7 days after reducing allotments:
    1. the basis of the Secretary's determination to reduce benefits,
    2. the manner in which the benefits will be reduced, and
    3. the action that has been taken by the Secretary to reduce the allotments.
  • Households containing a member who is sixty years of age or over or who is disabled entitled to a) an excess medical expense deduction for that portion of the actual cost of allowable medical expenses, incurred by such members, exclusive of special diets, that exceed $35 a month; b) a dependent care deduction, the maximum allowable level of which shall be the same as that for the excess shelter expense deduction for the actual cost of payments necessary for the care of a dependent when such care enables a household member to accept or continue employment, or training or education that is preparatory for employment; and c) an excess shelter expense deduction to the extent that the monthly amount expended by a household for shelter exceeds an amount equal to 50% of monthly household income after all other applicable deductions have been allowed.
  • Allowable medical expenses defined as expenditures for:
    1. medical and dental care,
    2. hospitalization or nursing care,
    3. Prescription drugs when prescribed by a licensed practitioner authorized under state law and over-the-counter medication (including insulin) when approved by a licensed practitioner or other qualified health professional,
    4. health and hospitalization insurance policies (excluding the costs of health and accident or income maintenance policies),
    5. Medicare premiums related to coverage under title XVIII of the SSA,
    6. dentures, hearing aids, and prosthetics (including the costs of securing and maintaining a seeing eye dog),
    7. eye glasses prescribed by a physician or by optometrist,
    8. reasonable costs of transportation necessary to secure medical treatment or services, and
    9. maintaining an attendant, homemaker, home health aide, housekeeper, or child care services due to age, infirmity, or illness.
  • Secretary and state agencies authorized to 1) require, as a condition of eligibility, that each household member furnish their social security account number(s), and 2) use such numbers in the administration of the FSP.
  • Mandated that individuals disqualified for fraudulent use of coupons or authorization cards shall not be eligible to participate after such disqualification unless he/she agrees to a) a reduction in the allotment of the household of which such individual is a member or b) to repayment in cash, in accordance with a reasonable schedule as determined by the Secretary. Any disqualified individual who elects repayment in cash and fails to make payments in accordance with the schedule shall be subject to appropriate allotment reductions.
  • Permitted states to retain 50 percent of the value of all funds or allotments recovered or collected through prosecutions or other state activities directed against individuals who fraudulently obtain allotments. Officials responsible for making determinations of fraud not to receive or benefit from revenues retained by the state under this provision.
  • Permitted disabled or blind recipients of benefits under title II or title XVI of the SSA who are residents in a public or private nonprofit group living arrangement that serves no more than sixteen residents and is certified by the appropriate state agency or agencies to use their coupons to purchase meals prepared and served under such an arrangement. Allowed these individuals to be individual food stamp households. Group living arrangements not allowed to redeem coupons through banks.
  • No household containing a person involved in a labor management dispute eligible to participate in the FSP unless the household meets the income guidelines, asset requirements, and work registration requirements of this Act.
1980 Appropriations Bill

PL 96-108, 93 Stat. 821-839 (Nov. 9, 1979)

  • Continued prohibition against participation of tax dependent college students in the FSP, as set forth in PL 93-563, through Sept. 30, 1980.
Page updated: February 12, 2024