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SNAP Legislative History - 90s

Click on each Public Law number to see a summary of the laws. Information concerning each Public Law is also located at the Library of Congress.

PL 101-277 

104 Stat. 143 (April 30, 1990)

  • Use and distribution of funds awarded the Seminole Indians in dockets 73, 151, and 73-A of the Indian Claims Commission
  • Excluded from income and resources funds awarded to the Seminole Indians in dockets of the Indian Claims Commission except for per capita payments in excess of $2,000.
Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act Amendments of 1990

PL 101-392, 104 Stat. 753-843 (Sept. 25, 1990)

  • Established a parallel exclusion to that in PL 99-498 for Higher Education Act assistance, except added dependent care to the list of items for which the bill's educational income could be used and be excluded for food stamp purposes.
Radiation Exposure Compensation Act

PL 101-426, 104 Stat. 920 (Oct. 15, 1990)

  • Excluded payment made under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act from consideration as income or resources for food stamp purposes.
Seneca Nation Settlement Act of 1990

PL 101-503, 104 Stat. 1292-1297 (Nov. 3, 1990)

  • Provided that none of the payments, funds or distributions authorized, established, or directed by this act, and none of the income derived there from, shall affect the eligibility of the Seneca Nation or its members for, or be used as a basis for denying or reducing funds under, any federal program.
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990

PL 101-508, 104 Stat. 1388-1388-628 (Nov. 5, 1990)

  • Required the Secretaries of HHS and Agriculture to develop a procedure to allow institutionalized individuals who are about to be released to make a single application for both SSI and food stamp benefits. The Secretary of HHS could either 1) use a single application form for the food stamp and SSI programs; or (2) take concurrent applications for the SSI and food stamp programs. Effective date of enactment.
  • Disregarded as income or as a deductible expense for purposes of any other federal or federally assisted program that bases eligibility for or amount of benefits upon need, child care to low income non-AFDC families that the state determines: (1) need such care in order to work; and (2) would otherwise be at risk of becoming dependent upon AFDC. Effective Oct. 1, 1990.
  • Changed the period of time required by law to notify recipients of federal benefit programs about the results of a computer match prior to taking adverse action against individuals, and created an alternative to independent verification requirements set up by the 1988 law in limited circumstances.
  • Disregarded the earned income tax credit (including the child health insurance portion) as income (for the month in which such refund or payment is made or any month thereafter) or as a resource (for the month in which such refund or payment is made or the following month) in determining eligibility or amount of benefits for the FSP and certain other housing programs.
National and Community Service Act of 1990

PL 101-610, 104 Stat. 3127-3186 (Nov. 16, 1990)

  • Provided that Section 142(b) of the JTPA applies to projects conducted under Title I of the National and Community Services Act of 1990 as if such projects were conducted under the JTPA. See PL 97-300 above for the JTPA income exclusion.
Mickey Leland Memorial Domestic Hunger Relief Act

PL 101-624, 104 Stat. 3359-4078 (Nov. 28, 1990)

Cranston-Gonzales National Affordable Housing Act

PL 101-625, 104 Stat. 4085-4424 (Nov. 28, 1990)

  • Excludes most increases in the earned income of a family residing in certain housing while participating in HUD demonstration projects authorized by this public law. Demo projects are authorized by this law for Chicago, Illinois, and 3 other locations.
Immigration Act of 1990

PL 101-649, 104 Stat. 4978-5087 (Nov. 28, 1990)

  • Made family members approved under the Family Unity Provisions of the Act ineligible for public welfare assistance in the same manner and for the same period that an IRCA alien in the family is ineligible for such assistance.
Persian Gulf Conflict Supplemental Authorization and Personnel Benefits Act of 1991

PL 102-25, 105 Stat. 75-122 (April 6, 1991)

  • Required outreach projects informing households with members on active duty with the Armed Forces that they might be eligible for the FSP. The Defense Department, state agencies, and military family support groups are to be consulted in designing and carrying out the projects. The projects are to run between July 1, 1991 and July 1, 1992, with a report to Congressional committees on effectiveness by Sept. 1, 1992.
Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act Amendments of 1991

PL 102-237, 105 Stat. 1886 (Dec. 13, 1991)

Technical Correction to Food Stamp Act of 1977 Relating to Income Exclusions

PL 102-265, 106 Stat. 90 (March 26, 1992)

  • Corrected a technical error in PL 102-237 so that blind SSI recipients can have their PASS accounts excluded as income, just as other SSI recipients do.
Higher Education Amendments of 1992

PL 102-325, 106 Stat. 448-842 (July 23, 1992)

  • Provided a blanket exclusion for food stamp purposes for assistance received under the Higher Education Act or under Bureau of Indian Affairs student assistance programs and for loans provided under the Tribal Development Student Assistance Revolving Loan Program.
Amendment of Food Stamp Act of 1977, regarding cost of the Thrifty Food Plan

PL 102-351, 106 Stat. 937 (Aug. 26, 1992)

  • Prevented a reduction in the adjusted cost of the Thrifty Food Plan in fiscal year 1993.
Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Amendments

PL 102-586 (Nov. 4, 1992)

  • Exempted any funds designated for Child Care Block grants from being counted as income for any other federal programs that base eligibility on need, including the FSP.
PL 103-11

107 Stat. 41 (April 1, 1993)

  • Delayed implementation of PL 102-237 requirements to stagger food stamp issuance for families living on Indian reservations and to exempt reservation households from the Food Stamp Program's state option of monthly income reporting from April 1, 1993 to Jan. 31, 1994.
National Voter Registration Act of 1993

PL 103-31 (May 20, 1993)

  • Required that all offices in a state that provide public assistance (including food stamp and WIC offices) must:
    • distribute mail voter registration application forms;
    • assist applicants in completing voter registration application forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance;
    • accept completed voter registration application forms for transmittal to the appropriate state election official not later than 10 days after;
    • distribute with each application for assistance, and with each recertification, renewal, or change of address form relating to such assistance a mail voter registration application form and a form that asks if the applicant would like to register to vote;
    • provide each applicant who chooses to register to vote the same degree of assistance in completing the voter registration form as is provided in completing its own forms, unless the applicant refuses such assistance.
  • Voter registration agencies cannot:
    • seek to influence an applicant;
    • display any political preference;
    • discourage an applicant from registering;
    • cause an applicant in any way to believe that his decision to register or not will affect his eligibility or benefits.
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993; Chapter 3, Mickey Leland Childhood Hunger Relief Act

PL 103-66, 107 Stat. 312 (Aug. 10, 1993)

PL 103-205

107, Stat. 2418 (Dec. 17, 1993)

  • Delayed implementation of 1990 Farm Bill requirements that states stagger Food Stamp issuance for families residing on Indian reservations, and which exempted reservation households from the FSP's state option of monthly income reporting from Jan. 31, 1994 to March 15, 1994.
  • Prohibited disqualification of an establishment or house-to-house trade route from participation in the FSP solely because the establishment or house-to-house trade route does not meet the definition of "retail food store" under section 3(k)(1) of the FS Act. Prohibition in effect during the period Dec. 17, 1993 through March 15, 1994.
Food Stamp Program Improvements Act of 1994

PL 103-225, 108 Stat. 106 (March 25, 1994)

  • Deleted the 1990 Farm Bill provision prohibiting state agencies from requiring monthly reporting on Indian reservations and permitted state agencies to require monthly reporting on Indian reservations only if the following conditions are met:
    1. the state agency reinstates late reporters who submit reports before the end of the month following the issuance month;
    2. the state agency does not delay, reduce, suspend or terminate the benefits of households that submit reports before the end of the month following the report month;
    3. the state agency is requiring monthly reporting on Indian reservations on the date of enactment; and
    4. the certification period for households on Indian reservations who are required to report monthly is two years unless the state agency has demonstrated to the Department just cause for a shorter period.
  • Deleted the 1990 Farm Bill provision requiring state agencies to stagger issuance throughout the month and required state agencies to stagger issuance over 15 days on Indian reservations upon request of the tribal organization that has governmental jurisdiction over the reservation.
  • Required the General Accounting Office (GAO) to conduct a study and report by Dec. 1, 1994 to determine whether it is feasible and desirable to increase opportunities for Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) to administer the Food Stamp Program.
  • Replaced the current definition of "retail food store" with a definition that would require firms, in order to be authorized to accept food stamps, to meet one of the following criteria:
    1. offer for sale on a continuous basis a variety of food classified in each of four staple food categories--meat, poultry, or fish; bread or cereals; vegetables or fruits; and dairy products--and sell perishable foods in at least two of these categories of staple foods or
    2. have over 50 percent of its total sales in eligible food.
  • Required the Secretary to issue regulations providing for periodic reauthorization of retailers and wholesalers and periodic notices to participating firms about the definitions of "retail food store," "staple foods," "eligible foods," and "perishable foods."
  • Provided access to the information supplied by retailers/wholesalers to federal and state law enforcement and investigative agencies for the purpose of administering/enforcing the Food Stamp Act or other federal and state laws and corresponding regulations. Established fines up to $1000 and imprisonment for up to one year, or both, as penalties for misuse of retailer/wholesaler information.
  • Required the Department to use up to $4 million to conduct demonstration projects testing innovative ideas of state or local food stamp agencies for working with state or local law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute food stamp trafficking. Funds for the demonstration projects are to be taken from amounts appropriated for Section 17 projects.
  • Provided that a retail firm that is authorized on the date of enactment of the legislation shall be considered to meet the new definition until its periodic reauthorization or its continued participation is evaluated for any reason.
  • Required the Department to report to Congress within 18 months of enactment on the impact of the new authorization criteria and the periodic reauthorization and notice requirements.
PL 103-286

108 Stat. 1450 (Aug. 1, 1994)

  • Disregarded payments made to individuals because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution in determining eligibility for and the amount of benefits or services to be provided under any federal or federally assisted program which provides benefits or services based, in whole or in part, on need.
  • Prohibited recovery of excess benefits or services provided before enactment of this act because these payments were not taken into account by any federal or federally assisted program which provides benefits or services based, in whole or in part, on need.
  • Required any agency of government that had not disregarded these payments in determining eligibility for a needs based program to make a good faith effort to notify any individual who may have been denied eligibility for benefits or services under the program of the potential eligibility of the individual for such benefits or services.
Social Security Administrative Reform Act of 1994

PL 103-296, 108 Stat. 1464 (Aug. 15, 1994)

  • Permitted the Secretary to share social security (SSNs) and employer identification numbers (EINs) of officers or owners of applicant retail food stores or wholesale food concerns with any other agency or instrumentality of the United States which otherwise has access to SSNs. The Secretary may share such information only to the extent that the Secretary determines such sharing would assist in verifying and matching such information against information maintained by such other agency or instrumentality. Such shared information may be used only for the purpose of effective administration and enforcement of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 or for the purpose of investigation of violations of other federal laws or enforcement of such laws.
  • The Secretary and the head of any other agency or instrumentality must restrict, to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (SSNs) or of the Secretary of the Treasury (EINs), access to SSNs and EINs only to officers and employees of the U.S. whose duties or responsibilities require access for the purposes cited above, and provide safeguards to protect the confidentiality of the SSNs.
Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994

PL 103-354, 108 Stat. 3178 (Oct. 13, 1994)

  • Effective Sept. 30, 1994, prohibited the Secretary from reducing the cost of the Thrifty Food Plan in Alaska on Oct. 1, 1994.
Federal Reports Elimination and Sunset Act of 1995

PL 104-66 (Dec. 21, 1995)

  • Eliminated annual requirement for the Secretary to report to Congress on project areas having payment error rates that impair the integrity of the FSP, and describing new or modified certification procedures which the Secretary determined would improve the integrity of the FSP and be cost effective in these areas.
  • Eliminated the requirement for OIG to report to Congress within 180 days on findings obtained in financial audits of project areas in states whose ratio of average food stamp participation in any quarter of a fiscal year to the state's total population in that quarter exceeds 60 percent.
Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act

PL 104-127, 110 Stat. 888 (April 4, 1996)

  • Added evidence that the management of the store or food concern was aware of, approved of, benefited from, or was involved in the conduct of no more than one previous violation to the reasons a civil money payment can be imposed in lieu of a permanent disqualification based on the purchase of coupons or trafficking in coupons or authorization cards by the store or wholesale food concern.
  • Extended E&T funding at its 1995 level ($75,000,000) through 2002.
  • Extended elderly/SSI cash-out demonstration projects through 2002.
  • Extended outreach demonstration projects through 2002.
  • Reauthorized the FSP through 1997.
  • Reauthorized the Puerto Rico Nutrition Assistance Program through 2002 funding it at:
    • $1,143,000,000 for fiscal year 1996;
    • $1,174,000,000 for fiscal year 1997;
    • $1,204,000,000 for fiscal year 1998;
    • $1,236,000,000 for fiscal year 1999;
    • $1,268,000,000 for fiscal year 2000;
    • $1,301,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
    • $1,335,000,000 for fiscal year 2002.
  • Funded American Samoa's modified food stamp program at a level of $5,300,000 for each of fiscal years 1996 through 2002.
  • Funded Community Food Projects at $1 million for fiscal year 1996 and $2.5 million annually thereafter through 2002.
  • Projects to require a one-time infusion of federal assistance to become self-sustaining and designed to:
    • meet the food needs of low-income people;
    • increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; and
    • promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues.
  • Applicants must be nonprofit organizations, but may use all available resources, including those of for-profit entities.
  • Grants are authorized for up to 3-year-periods.
  • The federal share of the cost of establishing or carrying out a community food project that receives assistance may not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the project during the term of the grant.
  • Projects to be evaluated and a report submitted to Congress no later than Jan. 30, 2002.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

PL 104-193, 110 Stat. 2105 (Aug. 22, 1996)

The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act

PL 104-208 (Sept. 30, 1996)

  • Amended the alien provisions of PL 104-193 by making the food stamp ineligibility of currently participating aliens effective April 1, 1997; expanding the definition of “qualified alien” to include certain battered aliens; and adding an exception to the deeming requirement for certain destitute aliens and certain aliens who have been battered/subjected to extreme cruelty in the U.S. by spouses, parents, or other household members.
1997 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from Natural Disasters, and for Overseas Peacekeeping Efforts, Including Those in Bosnia

PL 105-18 (June 12, 1997)

  • Amended Section 7 of the Food Stamp Act to allow a state agency, with the approval of the Secretary, to issue benefits to an individual who is ineligible to participate in the FSP solely as a result of Section 6(o)(2) of the Act (ABAWDs) or Section 402 or 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (noncitizen restrictions). The state agency must pay the Secretary the value of the benefits, and the costs of printing, shipping, and redeeming coupons, and other federal costs incurred in providing the benefits.
  • Limited the purchase of commodities for the Emergency Food Assistance Program for FY 1997 to $80 million.
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997

PL 105-33 (Aug. 5, 1997

Agriculture Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act

PL 105-185 (June 23, 1998)

  • Reduces the additional amount available in fiscal year 1999 for employment and training programs, from $131 million to $31 million.
  • Reduces the amount available in fiscal year 2000 for employment and training programs, from $131 million to $86 million.
  • Provides:
    1. for a determination of a yearly amount that may be attributable to benefiting programs;
    2. for a reduction in the current amount paid for administrative costs, by the amount determined to be attributable to benefiting programs;
    3. for making the reduction on a quarterly basis, “to the extent practicable”;
    4. for an appeals process of the determination (Administrative Law Judge; Departmental Appeals Board);
    5. that the final decision of the Administrative Law Judge or Appeals Board shall not be subject to judicial review;
    6. that the payment reduction is not affected while a determination is being appealed;
    7. for a prohibition on the use of TANF block grant funds, by a state, for paying for costs associated with administering the Food Stamp Program; and
    8. for a review by the Comptroller General, of the adequacy of the methodology used in making the determinations of the amount attributable to benefiting programs.
  • Extends the food stamp benefits' eligibility period for refugees and asylees from 5 to 7 years.
  • Restores food stamp benefits' eligibility to blind or disabled aliens (using the Food Stamp Act definition of disability - section (3)(r), who were lawfully residing in the U.S. on Aug. 22, 1996.
  • Restores food stamp benefits' eligibility to cross-border Native Americans.
  • Restores food stamp benefits' eligibility to any individual who, on August 22, 1996: (1) was lawfully residing in the U.S.; and (2) was 65 years of age or older.
  • Restores food stamp benefits' eligibility to any individual who: (1) on August 22, 1996 was lawfully residing in the U.S.; and (2) is under the age of 18.
  • Makes eligible for food stamp benefits, any individual who: (1) is lawfully residing in the U.S.; and (2) was a member of a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe at the time that the tribe aided U.S. personnel during the Vietnam War.
  • Extends eligibility to the spouse or unmarried dependent child of the foregoing individuals.
  • Extends the eligibility to the unremarried surviving spouse of the foregoing individuals.
  • Exempts the Hmong and Highland Laotians described above from the 5-year waiting period before becoming eligible for food stamp benefits.
  • Provides that the reductions made in Employment and Training program funding take effect when the bill is signed by the President.
Federal Reports Elimination Act of 1998

PL 105-362 (Nov. 10, 1998)

Eliminated the requirement to submit a report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives 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, as well as the cumulative totals for the fiscal year, and whether supplemental appropriations will be needed through the end of the fiscal year.

PL 105-379

Nov. 12, 1998

An Act to Amend the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to Require Food Stamp state agencies to Take Certain Actions to Ensure that Food Stamp Coupons are not Issued for Deceased Individuals, and to Require the Secretary of Agriculture to Conduct a Study of Options for the Design, Development, Implementation, and Operation of a National Database to Track Participation in federal Means-tested Public Assistance Programs.

  • Requires each state agency to: (1) enter into a cooperative arrangement with the Commissioner of Social Security to obtain information on deceased individuals; and (2) use the information to verify and otherwise ensure that benefits are not issued to them.
  • Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to: (1) report to specified congressional committees and the Secretary of the Treasury on the progress and effectiveness of such cooperative arrangements; and (2) study and report to the Congress on options for the design, development, implementation, and operation of a national database to track participation in federal means-tested public assistance programs. Provides funding for such study.
Page updated: April 01, 2024