18 Dec ROMAIN ET AL V. SECRETARY OF LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES
On Dec. 18, 2015, individuals at risk of losing their food stamps on January 1 filed a lawsuit (PDF, 2M) in federal court seeking to halt the planned termination of federal food benefits for up to 62,500 Louisiana residents. The lawsuit argues that Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services violated federal law and food stamps recipients’ constitutional due process rights in its politically-driven rush to terminate recipients’ food stamps before properly setting up the administration of the program. The crisis began in fall 2015, when Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to apply for a waiver of the work requirements under the federal food stamp program, even though Louisiana qualifies due to its high unemployment rates. As a result, up to 62,500 Louisiana residents are at risk of losing their food benefits due to a lack of sufficient employment opportunities in the state, which has only one job for every two food stamp recipients. Louisiana’s communities are also set to lose up to $140 million a year in vital federal food aid.