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Capitol Insider: Latest News on Food Insecurity Policy & Advocacy (May 2023)

State Capitol ceiling

by Jessica Dietrich, Director of Government Relations and Public Policy, and Bailey Ashbaker, Senior Policy Analyst



State Updates

Despite the May 26 deadline for regular session rapidly approaching, work for Oklahoma’s legislators is far from over. House and Senate leadership finally reached an agreement on this session’s vigorously debated education budget; here’s an overview on what provisions made the cut. However, on May 16, House and Senate leadership called for a concurrent special session to create more time for budget negotiations and potentially override any vetoes from the Governor. Most of the bills on our tracking list have reached their final stages but here is a look at what remains.

Bills that include modifications to increase access and/or reduce barriers to TANF:

  • HB 1931: Signed by the Governor 5/2/23. Earliest effective date 11/01/2023.
  • HB 1932: Signed by the Governor 5/5/23. Earliest effective date 11/01/2023.
  • SB 281: Failed to pass, dead pursuant to the rules 4/28/23.
  • SB 694: Dormant pursuant to the rules.

SB 534 by Senator Rosino – Changes the maximum income to 300% of the federal poverty level for a child that is severely developmentally disabled to qualify for assistance.

  • Vetoed by the Governor 4/26/23.


School Year 2022-2023 Childcare P-EBT and Summer 2023 Plans have been approved! Hunger Free Oklahoma has also updated our P-EBT page to include the latest information on eligibility and potential issuance timelines.

Multisector Plan on Aging

Oklahoma Human Services is hosting a series of listening sessions to assess the current needs of aging Oklahomans. Staff from Hunger Free Oklahoma were able to attend one of the sessions and heard from the community about concerns surrounding older adult hunger and food insecurity. You can register to attend the remaining virtual listening sessions here and also sign up for the Multisector Plan on Aging’s email distribution list for updates.

Federal Updates

Food Security Advocates Visit Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month, several Oklahomans from across the state attended the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference cosponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center in cooperation with the National CACFP Forum.

Following the conference sessions, Oklahoma food security advocates went to Capitol Hill to speak with all members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation about the important issues that are impacting food security in Oklahoma and what policymakers can do to address these issues. Advocates included staff from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, and Hunger Free Oklahoma. Additionally, two advocates and recent graduates of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s Magnify Oklahoma, the Regional Food Bank’s lived experience program, shared their experiences, perspectives, and policy solutions.

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to our federal delegation and their respective teams for prioritizing meeting with this group of advocates while we were in the nation’s capital.

SNAP Work Requirements Proposal

As a part of the debt ceiling negotiations at the federal level, some members of Congress have proposed expanding time limits on how long certain people can receive SNAP. A Kellogg School of Management study showed that proposals like this have no statistically significant impact on employment. In fact, the study notes that these time limits have damaging effects on the most vulnerable who are unable to work. Hunger Free Oklahoma opposes increasing barriers for Oklahomans trying to put food on the table beyond the regulations already in place.

2023 Farm Bill

The federal legislation known as the Farm Bill is set to be reauthorized by Congress this year. This legislation is a significant priority for food security advocates as it reauthorizes the nation’s largest anti-hunger program, SNAP. The Farm Bill brings opportunity in the form of potential modernization of SNAP and other nutrition programs, but it also brings danger in the form of potential limitations on the programs.

Congressional hearings are being held regularly to examine perspectives from across the country on which policies should be added, changed, or removed in the upcoming Farm Bill.

Hunger Free Oklahoma will soon be releasing our list of priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill. In the meantime, tune in to the most recent Congressional hearings below.

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Hearings:

House Committee on Agriculture Hearings:

Public Health Emergency Unwinding

Last week, the public health emergency formally expired and initiated the end of administrative flexibilities for programs like SNAP and Medicaid.

Medicaid continuous coverage has ended and the first Medicaid terminations for ineligible participants began April 30. For those losing Medicaid a special enrollment period (SEP) on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace has been established that will run from March 31, 2023, to July 31, 2024. More information and resources on Medicaid unwinding in Oklahoma is available here.

SNAP flexibilities for college students and adult learners will end beginning June 10, however, anyone who applies for SNAP before this date may be able to continue receiving benefits until they are due for recertification. The SNAP three-month time limit for unemployed able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) will also resume starting in July. For more information about the end of the public health emergency, check out this helpful timeline.

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