Plaintiffs Dismiss Federal Food Stamp Lawsuit Sustaining Progress Up to the Legislature

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Celia Cole /(512) 320-0222 x110

September 1, 2010

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On July 31, 2009, Stacy Howard and Linda Thornberg on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated filed a class action in federal district court against the Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission for failure to comply with federal timeliness standards in processing applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called Food Stamps.

In the meantime, through the hard work of HHSC staff, under the leadership of HHSC Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs and with additional resources from the Legislature, Texas improved its performance. In recognition of the state’s progress, on August 24, plaintiffs moved to dismiss their case.

Sustaining progress will be difficult.

To help needy Texans and maximize federal dollars, the Legislature needs to give careful consideration to HHSC’s budget request for additional staffing and increased flexibility.