Relates to finger imaging of certain persons receiving food stamps.
Ayes (3): Squadron, Duane, Krueger
Nays (2): McDonald, Marcellino
Ayes (32): Adams, Addabbo, Aubertine, Breslin, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Foley, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Montgomery, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky
Nays (29): Alesi, Bonacic, DeFrancisco, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Johnson O, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Nozzolio, Padavan, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Seward, Skelos, Volker, Winner, Young
Excused (1): Morahan
BILL NUMBER: S6291
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the social services law, in relation to finger imaging for food stamps recipients
PURPOSE : The purpose of this bill is to eliminate the finger imaging matching identification system for applicants or recipients of food stamps who are not also applicants for, or recipients of, family or safety net assistance.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Amends subdivision 3 of section 139-a of the social services law, to rescind the finger imaging matching identification system for applicants or recipients of food stamps who are not also applicants for, or recipients of, family or safety net assistance.
EXISTING LAW :
JUSTIFICATION : Under state law, public assistance recipients must be finger imaged but currently the Governor decides whether to require social service districts to finger image people who receive food stamps only. New York is one of the four remaining states in the country where finger imaging for food stamps still occurs. In order for needy families to get food stamps, all adult members or heads of households must have their finger images taken. If they do not comply, their entire household is left destitute and without any public assistance. In a study conducted by a non-partisan, non-profit policy research organization it was found that finger imaging was not cost effective and does nothing to deter fraud. The study concluded that in Texas and California, finger imaging produces serious drawbacks that include low numbers of fraud detection, high numbers of administrative errors, and an elongated and inefficient process that deters indigent people from applying. As a result, USDA withheld its share of federal funding for the state's finger imaging program.
It is estimated that finger imaging for food stamps costs New York's taxpayers $800,000 per year in administrative fees per year. Food stamps are entirely federally funded and finger imaging denies local businesses an estimated $60 million per year in lost federal revenues due to lower food stamp use.
Finger imaging serves as a deterrent for eligible individuals to access food stamps. It carries a stigma that is degrading to an applicant who might feel their dignity is worth more than government assistance although they might be in dire need. Food is a basic necessity of life. Finger imaging should not be required for any low income families and individuals to receive assistance with their food costs.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007: A.10215
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : No new fiscal implications.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6291 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE November 13, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. ESPADA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to finger imaging for food stamps recipients THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 139-a of the social services law is amended by adding a new paragraph (n) to read as follows: (N) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, APPLI- CANTS OR RECIPIENTS OF FOOD STAMPS WHO ARE NOT ALSO APPLICANTS FOR, OR RECIPIENTS OF, FAMILY OR SAFETY NET ASSISTANCE SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE FINGER IMAGING MATCHING IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00447-01-9