Georgia may soon lift ban on food stamps for drug felons

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia may soon lift a ban on food stamps for convicted drug offenders after they are released, in an effort to keep them from returning to prison.

Gov. Nathan Deal plans to sign legislation Wednesday making the state opt out of a federal lifetime ban on food stamps for those convicted of a drug-related felony. While the federal program calls for stiff restrictions on felons, states are allowed to opt out of the ban.

The post-release assistance is supposed help prevent recidivism. The initiative is part of a more comprehensive bill under Deal's legislative agenda aimed at reforming the state's criminal justice system.

Sponsoring Sen. John F. Kennedy, R-Macon, says he hasn't heard of opposition to the law.

Georgia is among a handful of states that still have the ban.