May 19, 2016

Listen: NM Political Report talks HSD scandal on KUNM

Photo Credit: gak cc

NM Political Report senior reporter joined the crew at KUNM-FM Thursday morning to discuss the growing scandal over food benefits applications.

Multiple workers testified in federal court that supervisors and high-ranking officials instructed them to falsify applications by adding assets to make sure applicants no longer qualified for emergency, or expedited, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, funding.

Peters was one of just two reporters to cover the latest hearing in Las Cruces. Listen to Peters’ appearance on the KUNM Call-In show below; he is on the show at the beginning.

The allegations led to one state senator to call for HSD Secretary Brent Earnest to resign.

KUNM also recently profiled one woman who saw her emergency benefits delayed.

According to emergency food stamps rules, the money should have shown up within seven days. But it didn’t, not for weeks. After asking around, Jones found a lawyer focused on poverty issues who helped her make the call to find out what happened. Jones remembered they waited on hold for more than an hour. But when they finally spoke to someone, she said she got her food stamps right then and there. It was February—two months after she applied.

The next hearing will take place in July and is scheduled for Las Cruces.