Common Good Iowa

Act now: Tell your Representative NO on SF 494

Senate File 494 would take food, doctor’s visits, and medications from thousands of Iowans, even those eligible to receive benefits, by erecting extra administrative hurdles to getting SNAP, Medicaid and Hawki.

Here are some of the biggest problems with SF 494:

  • It would make it harder for eligible Iowans to get enough food to eat and the health care they need.

    • By increasing the amount and frequency at which data is collected from participants and discrepancies flagged, it would create more opportunities to be eligible Iowans to be disenrolled. We know the nature of low-wage work is often inconsistent scheduling. Just getting holiday overtime would have the potential to take food away from a family.

    • By implementing an asset test, it would penalize families for having modest savings or multiple vehicles. Policies like this don’t lift people out of poverty, they keep them in it.

  • It would take food and health care away from children. Nearly 70% of SNAP participants live in families with children, and 37% of percent of Iowa children are covered by Medicaid or CHIP. There is simply no way to implement the bill without hurting children.

  • It would make poor use of state resources. The Iowa Department of Human Services would need to hire 219 additional full-time employees to process paperwork. It would use those employees to take away benefits, in turn taking federal dollars out of Iowa grocery stores and hospitals. Remember SNAP benefits are 100% federally funded. That means Iowans would be paying federal taxes and not receiving the services we pay into. Instead, our tax dollars would go to other states that want to feed their children.

  • Cutting people off assistance does nothing to address the real causes of hunger and poor health: low wages, wealth inequality, discrimination, a weakened safety net and attacks on worker’s rights.

But there is hope. Last week, Senate File 494 narrowly passed out of the House Appropriations committee, with three Republicans voting against it.

You can make a difference stopping this bill. Ask your state Representative to OPPOSE SF 494.


  • Send an email from a personal email account unless you are contacting the lawmaker as part of your job. Find your Representative’s email address using our legislator lookup tool.


  • Call the House switchboard at (515) 281-3221. Ask to be connected to your Representative or to leave a message.

Visit the Iowa Hunger Coalition’s SNAP Map to find enrollment data for your county. And learn more by reading our fact sheet.

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