2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
February 28, 2012 - Introduced by Senators Darling, Lazich, Wanggaard, Lasee,
Galloway and Cowles, cosponsored by Representatives Kerkman, Krug,
Jacque, Pridemore, Spanbauer, Bernier, Ballweg, Marklein, Knodl, Wynn,
Kuglitsch, Thiesfeldt, Kaufert, Endsley, Stroebel and Brooks. Referred to
Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations.
1An Act to create
49.795 (1) (dm) and 49.795 (7m) of the statutes; relating to:
2trafficking food stamp program benefits.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Department of Health Services administers the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food
stamp program and currently known in Wisconsin as FoodShare, under which
eligible low-income individuals and families receive cash assistance to purchase
food. Current law provides penalties for various offenses related to SNAP. For
example, under current law, a person who makes a misleading or fraudulent
statement on a SNAP application is subject to a penalty that is based on the value
of the SNAP benefits involved in the offense and the number of SNAP offenses that
the person has previously committed. Other SNAP offenses subject to penalty
include: failing to report changes in income or assets as required by federal law,
transferring SNAP benefits for a purpose other than purchasing food, and issuing
SNAP benefits to a person who is not eligible to receive the benefits.
This bill adds trafficking SNAP benefits to the list of SNAP offenses that are
subject to penalties under current law. Under the bill, a person traffics SNAP
benefits if the person does any of the following:
1. Buys, sells, steals, or otherwise exchanges SNAP benefits issued and
accessed through the electronic benefit transfer program, or manually, for cash or
2. Exchanges firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances for
3. Uses SNAP benefits to purchase food that has a container deposit for the sole
purpose of returning the container for a cash refund.
4. Resells food purchased with SNAP benefits for cash or other consideration.
5. Purchases, for cash or other consideration, food that was previously
purchased from a supplier using SNAP benefits.
Because this bill creates a new crime or revises a penalty for an existing crime,
the Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties may be requested to prepare a
report concerning the proposed penalty and the costs or savings that are likely to
result if the bill is enacted.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB523, s. 1
49.795 (1) (dm) of the statutes is created to read:
(dm) "Traffic food stamp program benefits" means to do any of the 3
1. Buy, sell, steal, or otherwise accomplish the exchange of, directly, indirectly, 5
in collusion with others, or individually, food stamp program benefits issued and 6
accessed through the electronic benefit transfer program under s. 49.797, or by 7
manual voucher and signature, for cash or other consideration that is not food.
2. Exchange firearms, ammunition, explosives, or controlled substances, as 9
defined in 21 USC 802
, for food stamp program benefits.
3. Use food stamp program benefits to purchase food that includes a container 11
deposit for the sole purpose of discarding the container contents and returning the 12
container for a cash refund of the deposit.
4. Resell food purchased with food stamp program benefits for the purpose of 14
obtaining cash or other consideration that is not food.
5. Purchase, for cash or other consideration that is not food, food that was 16
previously purchased from a supplier using food stamp program benefits.
6. Any other action that is trafficking under 7 USC 2011
SB523, s. 2
49.795 (7m) of the statutes is created to read:
No person may knowingly traffic food stamp program benefits.
(1) This act first applies to acts that occur on the effective date of this 6