Update Nov. 2: The Ohio House voted Wednesday to require photos be added to food stamp cards in Ohio. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate.
The bill passed 61-30.
Earlier story: Ohio Auditor Dave Yost wants to put people’s photos on their food stamp cards.
Yost, a Republican and oft-mentioned candidate for attorney general next years, announced the proposed legislation Wednesday as a means for preventing fraud in the $2.5 billion program.
At a Statehouse news conference Yost said fraud accounts for millions of dollars in the program, formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The move is a common sense step that will cost taxpayers money, Yost acknowledged. Still, he called it a good investment to protect the integrity of the program.
“It’s a no-brainer,” said Yost.
Exceptions will allow some food stamp users to bypass the photo requirement, based on religious beliefs.
An advocate for food stamp users, Lisa Hamlet-Fugitt, director of the Ohio Association of Food Banks, said she is hoping the photo requirement does not have a chilling effect on people who need the benefits.
A pair of bills to implement the photo requirement, which is allowed by federal law, will be introduced in the Ohio House and Senate.