HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation that seeks to increase the state's participation in the federal food stamp program.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the bill brought by Democratic Sen. Josh Green would have health care providers ask clients who are enrolled in Medicaid if they are also participating in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Both federal programs are income-based.
According to the legislation, the state receives more than $500,000 annually in federal funds to run the food stamp program. It says Hawaii could receive an estimated $247 million if all the people eligible for SNAP participated in the program.
The Department of Human Services has spoken out against the bill, citing implementation and confidentiality concerns. But it says it's working to allow people to apply for Medicaid and SNAP simultaneously.