A Texas lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require food stamp recipients' names and photos be printed on their benefits card in order to cut down on potential fraud.

Republican Dade Phelan of Beaumont has filed House Bill 1250, which would require Lone Star Cards be printed with the names and photos of the person receiving assistance, as well as anyone authorized to use their card (such as a caretaker or relative). The card would also include a hotline and website for reporting fraud or abuse.

Under the proposed law, Texas' Health and Human Services Department would also be required to monitor and report the frequency with which recipients request replacements for their benefit cards.

In a media release, Phelan reported that the most common type of food stamp fraud occurs when people sell their card and pin for cash.

"In 2016, according to state records, $17 million worth of fraud was identified in 154 Texas counties," Phelan wrote. "Individuals taking advantage of taxpayer funded benefits are far too commonplace. We must make certain our most vulnerable Texans receive the food and supplies they desperately need; however, selling one's Lone Star Card for cash is unacceptable. We need common sense safeguards to protect Texas taxpayers."

According to Phelan, a few people would be exempt from the new requirement, including people who are 65 years of age or older; younger than 19 years of age; blind; disabled; a victim of domestic violence; homeless; or issued the EBT card at a field, regional, or other local commission office.

What do you think? Is requiring a name and photo for EBT benefit cards a good idea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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