2018 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

Senate’s bill to strip food assistance is based on faulty reasoning and misinformation

A provision in the Senate bill, passed last week, will eliminate food assistance for 133,000 low-income North Carolinians, over 51,000 of whom are children. Specifically, the bill would prevent North Carolina from using a process known as broad-based categorical eligibility. Categorical eligibility allows low-income families with high expenses for things such as child care to qualify for food assistance.

In a recent multiple news articles, Sen. Ralph Hise, sponsor of the original bill, explained the Senate’s rational for including the provision. Hise argued that eliminating categorical eligibility will make SNAP (food stamps) more fair. But what is fair about stripping food assistance from low-income families which children in daycare or a family that faces expenses related to caring for a disabled family member? There is nothing “fair” about that.

Hise continues by also incorrectly arguing that the number of North Carolinians participating in SNAP has seen “tremendous growth” despite the recovery. This could not be further from the truth. Since peaking at 18.4% in August 2011, North Carolina’s SNAP participation rates have dropped to 13.9% today and are at their lowest levels since 2010. Today, fewer North Carolinians are on SNAP than have been since the beginning of The Great Recession, despite a growing North Carolina population.

The reality is that while unemployment has dropped, wages have not kept up with the rising costs of expenses such as child care and rent. Low-income families have fewer resources today to spend on food than ever. Hise concludes his explanation, arguing that the numbers provided to the Senate of people who would lose food assistance was lower than the most recent numbers provided by Department of Health and Human Services.

Regardless of whether or not Sen. Hise believed the number was small or large, the question still remains: When is it ever acceptable to take food away from struggling North Carolinians? Click To Tweet

The answer, obviously, is never.

One Comment


  1. Alan Harrelson

    May 21, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Unfortunately, a lot of these people vote republican. They’re getting what they voted for..

Check Also

State lawmakers take positive step in Hurricane Matthew recovery

Today, the NC General Assembly passed The Disaster ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s most important job is to keep people safe. For the Depa [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper visits Wilmington on Monday, it's unlikely that he will be greeted by the [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention or STOP Act into law last month, [...]

Support for needy districts and key positions within North Carolina’s top public school agency may b [...]

The post GenX & ’emerging contaminants’ appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

73---number of days since the Senate passed its version of the state budget that spent $22.9 billion [...]

When you lower the bar enough for what’s possible, you create a new normal in which an inch forward [...]

It’s not an original thought to point out that the Trump Administration is a larger version of what [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more