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Nebraska bill to expand eligibility for SNAP benefits fails

Nebraska bill to expand eligibility for SNAP benefits fails

A bill that would have allowed more low-income Nebraska residents to qualify for federal food benefits has died in the Legislature.

Supporters fell one vote shy Tuesday of the simple majority needed to give the measure initial approval. The measure would have let an additional 1,840 households qualify for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

Sen. John McCollister of Omaha says his bill would create an incentive for low-income residents to work harder or find better-paying jobs without fear of losing the benefit. Senators voted 24-19 on the bill.

The bill was unlikely to pass this year because of the state’s projected budget shortfall, but supporters had hoped state revenue would improve enough for it to receive final approval next year.

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