- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas would ban food stamps from being used to buy soda or junk food under a plan that’s heading to the state House for a vote.

The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on Tuesday endorsed the proposal by Republican Rep. Mary Bentley of Perryville to prohibit using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to purchase foods and beverages with “insufficient” nutritional value.

The restriction would need approval by the federal government, which has rejected similar bans from other Republican-led states.

Bentley said she’s hopeful the Trump administration would support such a restriction and that it would ensure food stamps are being used for healthy products. Opponents say the ban would hurt recipients who don’t have access to affordable nutritional products.

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