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Proposed Rule

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Student Eligibility, Convicted Felons, Lottery and Gambling, and State Verification Provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014; Extension of Comment Period

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AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed rule. Extension of comment period.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is re-opening the comment period for the proposed rule published December 1, 2016. The proposed action would implement four sections of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), affecting eligibility, benefits, and program administration requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Section 4007 clarifies that participants in a SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program are eligible for benefits if they are enrolled or participate in specific programs that will assist SNAP recipients in obtaining the skills needed for the current job market. Section 4008 prohibits anyone convicted of Federal aggravated sexual abuse, murder, sexual exploitation and abuse of children, sexual assault, or similar State laws, and who are also not in compliance with the terms of their sentence or parole or are a fleeing felon, from receiving SNAP benefits. Section 4009 prohibits households containing a member with substantial lottery and gambling winnings from receiving SNAP benefits, until the household meets the allowable financial resources and income eligibility requirements of the program. Section 4009 also provides that State SNAP agencies are required, to the maximum extent practicable, to establish cooperative agreements with gaming entities in the State to identify SNAP recipients with substantial winnings. Section 4015 requires all State agencies to have a system in place to verify income, eligibility and immigration status.

DATES:

The comment period for the proposed rule published December 1, 2016 (81 FR 86614) is re-opened until March 31, 2017. Written comments must be received on or before March 31, 2017, to be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES:

The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites interested persons to submit written comments on this proposed rule. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods:

  • Preferred Method: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: Submit comments by facsimile transmission to: Sasha Gersten-Paal, Certification Policy Branch, Fax number 703-305-2486.
  • Mail: Send comments to Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, FNS, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703-305-2507.

All written comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of comments and the identity of individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. FNS will make written comments publicly available online at http://www.regulations.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sasha Gersten-Paal, Branch Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, 703-305-2507.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

FNS is re-opening the comment period for 30 days as noted under the DATES section to ensure that the public has sufficient time to review and comment on the proposed rule. To the extent that 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A) applies to this action, it is exempt from notice and comment rulemaking for good cause and for reasons cited above, FNS finds that notice and solicitation of comment regarding the brief extension of the comment period is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). FNS believes that affected parties need to be informed as soon as possible of the extensions and their length.

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Dated: February 16, 2017.

Jessica Shahin,

Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.

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[FR Doc. 2017-03713 Filed 2-28-17; 8:45 am]

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