It's taking longer for people to get their food stamps these days, and that's because so many people are trying to get food stamps. (INSTEAD OF GETTING A FREAKING JOB, as KTRH listeners are no doubt saying after reading that sentence.)
Two civil-rights groups have sued the Texas Health & Human Services Commission for failing to meet federal deadlines for getting food-stamp relief to applicants.
According to the joint release from the Texas Legal Services Center and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice:
Federal law requires the state to render a decision on all Food Stamp applications within 30 days, and within seven days for "expedited" or emergency Food Stamps applications from families without money for food or rent. Texas has failed to meet these standards for more than three years. In July 2009 alone, the state processed more than one-third of all Food Stamp applications late, delaying critical nutrition assistance to more than 45,000 families across the state.
State officials say they've been overwhelmed by applicants.
"We're drinking from a fire hose right now," a spokesperson told the Dallas Morning News.
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Well maybe if they stopped taking so much time drinking from a fire hose and started processing applications....Government. It's hopeless.
A spokesman for the groups who are suing says the hope is to get the state's butt in gear:
"We hope this lawsuit has three results. First, we hope it spurs HHSC to hire new staff recently authorized by the legislature. Second, we hope the lawsuit will focus the new HHSC commissioner on solving the problem. Third, we hope the lawsuit proves to the legislature that the new commissioner needs additional resources to solve the problem," Celia Hagert said.
She was not drinking from a fire hose at the time.