PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Rhode Island lawmaker wants to make it a felony to buy or sell food welfare cards.
Rep. Arthur Corvese said Friday his bill would punish people who attempt to commit food-stamp fraud with up to five years in prison.
The North Providence Democrat says his intention is to protect the program, now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to ensure benefits are there for people who need the help.
Under his proposal any recipient of SNAP benefits who is convicted of selling their card for cash would be disqualified from receiving food assistance for five years following their sentence.
The state already makes it a crime to obtain SNAP benefits illegally, and federal law prohibits improper use of SNAP cards.
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