Queens lawmakers celebrate passage of SNAP EBT skimming legislation

Senator John Liu legislation
Senator John Liu (Courtesy of Liu’s office)

State Senator John Liu and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic on June 13 announced at the Food Emporium in Fresh Meadows the passage of their legislation that would require local businesses to post-consumer warnings of potential skimming of SNAP EBT cards. They were joined in their announcement by community organizations, the 111th Precinct and constituents.

“Skimming of SNAP EBT cards has been a consistent issue in our communities,” Rozic said. “With this new law, everyone will feel safer shopping and using their SNAP EBT card.”

The legislation, known as A4023/S6088, was passed with bipartisan support.

“Skimming and phishing scams target everyone regardless of income or background, even those low-income New Yorkers in need of extra support just to put food on the table,” Liu said. “The best way to combat these despicable acts is by making sure the public is informed about how to protect themselves and what resources are available to them should they fall victim. The prevalence of EBT card skimming shows that we need to do more to protect personal data at the point of sale.”

According to Liu and Rozic, consumer warnings are an essential preventative measure. This legislation is just one part of their efforts to assist constituents impacted by this, along with a previous measure for refunds of lost funds.

Selfhelp Community Services thanks Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and State Senator John Liu for their legislation that will address occurrences of SNAP/EBT skimming by requiring notices to be posted publicly about this fraud,” Selfhelp Community Services Vice President of Senior Communities Mohini Mishra said. “We know that older adults can become victims of this common scam and are supportive of any measures to reduce financial crimes. We look forward to continuing to work together to protect our older community members and help people live with dignity.”

While the legislation has passed in both houses, there is still one last step it needs to make. The bill now awaits approval from Governor Kathy Hochul, who can either sign or veto it.

“At Asian Americans For Equality’s offices in Queens and Manhattan, we hear from a growing number of community members who have unfortunately been victimized by EBT card scams, Asian Americans for Equality Executive Director Thomas Yu said. “So we are grateful to Senator Liu and Assemblywoman Rozic for championing this common sense legislation. We look forward to working with our partners in government and the nonprofit sector to raise awareness about this issue and put a stop to EBT card skimming.”

A4023 passed through the State Assembly very easily, with 60 votes in favor, one opposed and two would-be voters excused. S6088 was unanimously approved by all seven members of the Consumer Protection Committee.