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Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (December 2022)

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy; Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst and Engagement Specialist; and Nick Battles, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow



Oklahoma Legislative Session 

The first deadline of the upcoming legislative session has already come and gone. Last week, the deadline for legislators to request bills resulted in 2,081 bills requested in the house and 1,691 requested in the senate. There are certain bills that can be requested outside of this deadline, and all the requests that have been submitted won’t necessarily result in final bills for consideration.  


Federal Spending Package Set for Passage This Week 

As the current Congress nears its end, federal lawmakers are negotiating one final spending package that could impact food security programs. At the time of writing, the just-released mega-bill includes:  

  • A long-term authorization of a nationwide Summer EBT program 
  • A new option for states to offer non-congregate meals to kids in the summer 
  • Replacement benefits for victims of EBT card skimming between 10/1/22 and 9/30/24, in addition to a directive for USDA to work to prevent benefit theft 
  • An end to the temporary SNAP pandemic emergency allotment benefits by March, which ultimately provides the funding to offset the costs of the items above 

This legislation will likely need to pass by Friday, December 23. Read HFO’s statement for further details on the spending package and its impact on Oklahomans here.



P-EBT Updates  

School Year 2020–2021 Benefits:
Families who filled out the review form on Oklahoma State Department of Education’s page are starting to receive these benefits.  

School Year 2021–2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was recently approved to operate the P-EBT program for school closures during the 2021–2022 school year. At this time, we are unsure of when these benefits will be issued.  

Summer 2022 Benefits:
Oklahoma was approved to operate the P-EBT program for Summer 2022. Unlike school year benefits, summer benefits are a uniform amount of $391 for all qualifying children. Benefits went out at the end of July and beginning of August. Benefits for those who were missed in the original August 2022 issuance and filled out this form are beginning to be issued. 



Federal Public Health Emergency Extended

The federal public health emergency (PHE) has been extended through the spring of 2023. Therefore, current federal nutrition program waivers and flexibilities are expected to remain in effect through the first quarter of 2023. The Administration has indicated that they will give at least a 60-day notice before the PHE ends, so the next notification of the PHE’s status can be expected towards the end of February 2023. We are tracking this very closely and will keep our partners updated with the latest information. 

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