Business and Economy
5:45 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

House Passes Food Stamp Fraud Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that aims to lower the number of people who keep getting food stamp benefits even after defrauding the program.

The proposal criminalizes unauthorized sharing of food stamps. Its most significant provision affects people who commit fraud and want a deferred sentence. The bill says prosecutors must give them the option of voluntarily removing themselves from the program.

The bill's sponsors say it's the only way to get those who commit fraud out of the program without breaking federal law. 

The House passed the measure Thursday 78-12. Rep. Emily Virgin and other Democrats questioned whether children whose parents committed fraud would be hurt if their parents were kicked out of the program.

The measure goes back to the Senate to consider House changes.