- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas House has approved a bill that would prevent food-stamp recipients from using their government benefits on soft drinks and “junk food.”

Rep. Mary Bentley said her proposal would treat food with no nutritional value the same as alcohol and tobacco during trips to the grocery store. House members approved the plan 55-39 and sent it to the Senate after Rep. Laurie Rushing made an emotional plea against the bill.

Rushing said her family had to seek aid after a death in the family and that, without it, she wouldn’t have been able to buy a birthday cake for her young daughter.

Rep. Robin Lundstrum said legislators needed to remember taxpayers are the source of the benefit.

The plan would ultimately require federal approval.

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