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The Nation

Maryland sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture in federal court in Baltimore, asking that the USDA be barred from lowering food stamp payments to Marylanders after state welfare aid was increased. “This is a classic example of the federal government backing away from its obligation to the poor by shifting the cost to the state,” said Ruth Massinga, secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. The Maryland General Assembly this year provided a 6% increase in welfare grants, totaling $17 million, for 70,648 low-income families. The USDA wants to lower its food stamp payments by about $5 million as a result of the increased aid families will receive.


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