- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed several pieces of legislation Monday, among them a bill that adds stiffer penalties for misusing food stamps and makes it illegal to buy fast food under the program.

The legislation adds tough penalties that can generally include more than one year in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 to sell, trade or redeem food stamps for cash or non-food items. It also outlaws fast-food purchases and limits where people can use their benefits under the state’s food stamp program.

Ducey supports the legislation as a means to improve the state’s ability to investigate and prosecute food stamp fraud, said Daniel Scarpinato, spokesman for the governor. “There’s a reason this received a near-unanimous bipartisan vote. It clarifies that it is illegal to sell or trade food stamps for anything other than eligible food,” he said.

The governor also signed two measures revising state law to get around a lawsuit over bans on plastic bags and disposable products.

The law passed last session prevents cities from banning disposable products and blocks cities from requiring business owners to report energy consumption. That legislation was part of a clash that has grown more intense as state lawmakers have taken an aggressive approach in recent years in curtailing the role of local government.

The bill Ducey signed breaks the legislation into two laws to avoid violating a state constitutional provision requiring each bill to have a single subject.

Tempe city Councilmember Lauren Kuby said she plans to re-file the lawsuit focusing on a provision that allows charter cities to pass laws without government oversight.

Ducey signed a total of 19 bills Monday, including a measure to continue the state’s boxing commission, Prescott Historical Society and the State Personnel Board. The new laws will take effect later this year.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide