Some members of Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice worked to spread the alarm that food stamp benefits might be completely cut off for up to 200,000 low-income unemployed or underemployed citizens in Illinois. We handed out flyers and asking people to call Governor Rauner. All our Governor had to do was to apply to the federal government for a routine waiver which would allow Illinois to receive federal funds to continue supplying the food stamps. It would not take any money from the Illinois State Budget. For several weeks, the Rauner administration only said that they would “review” the matter, thus leaving all those people hanging in suspense.
Finally, this week, under growing, and increasingly visible pressure, the Rauner administration announced that they will apply to renew a waiver of federal time limits for food stamps (SNAP).
This will mean 200,000 low income unemployed or underemployed persons should be able to continue getting basic nutrition support without the federally-imposed time limits of 3 months of food help in any 3 year period.
As media became more interested in the impending crisis, Mark Brown reported yesterday that the administration decided to extend the eligibility. The Governor’s press office confirmed the report this morning.
We savor this rare victory, and will keep up the good fight.