TRENTON – In an effort to increase food security among New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations, the Senate advanced legislation today sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez that would permanently raise the minimum SNAP benefits to $95 a month.
“With SNAP benefit reductions scheduled to occur at the end of February at the federal level, many New Jerseyans would see their monthly benefits cut nearly in half if we did not act,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “I commend Speaker Coughlin for his work in this space and join him in the efforts to protect and bolster New Jersey’s food security programs.”
The bill, S-3491, would increase the minimum monthly benefit from $50 to $95 and authorize the Commissioner of Human Services to increase the program’s benefit amount depending on available state appropriations.
“As the cost of basic necessities continue to rise, we must do everything we can to improve and expand New Jersey’s food security programs,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “I am relieved we acted swiftly to avoid a drastic reduction in benefits for some of our most vulnerable residents. The temporary Federal SNAP increase has had an extremely positive effect on our communities and this legislation will make it permanent.”
The bill was released from the Senate by a vote of 38-0.