Rauner signs bill broadening eligibility for food stamps

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – More Illinois families will be able to receive federal food stamps under expanded eligibility signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Legislation endorsed Tuesday by the first-term Republican governor raises the income limit for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Illinois to 165 percent of the poverty level, effective Jan. 1. The previous cap was at 130 percent.

Families that include someone who is elderly or disabled can receive food stamps if their income doesn’t exceed 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago estimates that the change will bring an additional $60 million in federal money into the state.