Senate panel passes measure to stagger food stamps

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Big Idaho grocers finally convinced a Senate panel to support staggering food stamp benefits, an effort to avoid the current first-of-the-month onslaught that stores complain interrupts their supply chain, creates chaos in the aisles and results in food waste.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 6-3 Monday to pass the bill. It calls for a multi-day issuance, to occur over the first 10 days of every month

It now goes to the full Senate.

A similar bill passed the House, but failed in this committee last year.

This time, supporters including Sen. Lee Heider of Twin Falls were swayed by concerns of many grocers who call the existing system a logistical nightmare.

Foes including Sen. Jim Guthrie of McCammon, a small grocery store owner, said there were better alternatives.