On February 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The proposed rule would authorize USDA to quickly suspend payments to businesses that “flagrantly” misuse the program. Under existing regulations, businesses are able to remain active retailers in SNAP even if they are being investigated for trafficking benefits. The proposed changes would allow USDA to suspend payments to those retailers and prevent further abuse. USDA is especially interested in comments from state agencies regarding the costs and timelines to implement the changes and any alternative process for suspending funds to retailers. The proposed rule would also clarify the timeframe for responding to allegations of trafficking and strengthen other program requirements. The proposals are part of the Administration’s Campaign to Cut Waste in government programs.
The USDA is accepting comments on this proposal until April 23, 2013. Comments can be made through www.regulations.gov, Docket Number FNS-2012-0029 or via mail to Shanta Swezy, Chief, Retailer Management and Issuance Branch, USDA, FNS, SNAP, Benefit Redemption Division, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 426, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302.
This post was originally published on the legacy ABA Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Notice and Comment blog, which merged with the Yale Journal on Regulation Notice and Comment blog in 2015.