Lincoln, Neb. — A bill that would have allowed some convicted drug users to qualify for federal food assistance has stalled in the Nebraska Legislature.
Supporters fell short Wednesday of the support needed to overcome a legislative filibuster. The vote was 28-16, but 33 “yes” votes were needed.
The bill by state Sen. Megan Hunt, of Omaha, would have allowed the benefit for people convicted of felony drug possession or drug use if they’ve completed their sentences or are still serving on parole, probation or post-release supervision.
Potential recipients would remain ineligible if they have three or more felony drug use convictions or were convicted of felony drug selling or distribution.
Supporters say allowing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits would help rehabilitate offenders. Opponents say drug users shouldn’t get government handouts.