Stabenow Questions How Michigan Runs "Heat and Eat"

From left, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., take part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, July 15, 2010, to discuss financial reform legislation. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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Senator Debbie Stabenow wants Michigan to rethink how it's handling the Heat and Eat assistance program. The Farm Bill changed the rule letting people get more food benefits if they get at least a dollar a year of heating assistance. Now those people have to get at least $21 in heating help to keep the same food benefits. 16 states participate in Heat and Eat. Only Michigan and three others aren't paying the difference to help people keep the extra benefits, which means around 150,000 Michigan families could lose about $75 a month. "The states have the option of coming in and filling the difference, and so the state I think has to look long and hard at that," Senator Stabenow told The twelve states covering the difference won't lose any federal food assistance, so the Associated Press is questioning if the Farm Bill will really save $8.6 billion dollars over 10 years as it was advertised. Stabenow's office says it's too early to predict that.

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