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Missouri bill would allow drug felons to apply for food stamps - KOAM TV 7

Missouri bill would allow drug felons to apply for food stamps

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For almost two decades, Missouri has banned anyone with a drug related felony conviction from receiving food assistance.

"I'm still being punished for my crime is what it all boils down to," said convicted felon Jesse Sparks.

Sparks was convicted in 2004 for possession of a controlled substance, he served three years. He's now in recovery, and participating in drug court. He also has a job and volunteers in the community.

Missouri lawmakers recently passed a bill that would lift the lifetime ban, but those convicted would have to wait a year before applying.

The bill also requires that those who are ordered to be in a drug treatment program, be enrolled, or on a waiting list. If that person is convicted of three or more drug related felonies, they would no longer be eligible for food stamps.

"I hope it will change. I hear that a bill that being passed, and if it is passed we will have that right or that luxury of getting food stamps as well as any other citizen and I believe that will be a great blessing.

The bill now goes to the Governor of Missouri.

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