State wins $11.5M food stamp bonus

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s food stamp program has been named the nation’s most accurate in paying benefits for the second year in a row, earning an $11.5 million bonus from the federal government.

The Florida Department of Children and Families on Monday also announced its program has been rated the most improved in a separate category — handing benefit denials and closures.

Florida’s award is the largest ever given to a state since the U.S. Department of Agriculture started the bonus program in 2003.

Florida’s program is the nation’s fourth largest, providing more than $4 billion in benefits to more than 3.5 million people last year.

School district pulls pain clinic ads

BOCA RATON — A South Florida mother is upset Palm Beach County schools accepted $3,300 from a pain clinic in exchange for advertising on campuses.

The district pulled the ads after receiving a complaint from the head of an advocacy group called Parents against Prescription Drug Abuse. Director Laurie Suquet says that’s as bad as accepting tobacco company money.

Lawmakers have been trying to crack down on Florida’s many pain clinics, which allegedly attract drug addicts and traffickers from around the country.

The state is creating a database to track sales of the powerful drugs, and a new law limits the amount of drugs cash-carrying patients can buy onsite.

— Herald wire services