California discourages needy from signing up for food stamps. The state’s participation rate is the lowest in the US—only about half of those qualified get the aid—making it the envy of more-conservative states.

by Evan Halper

WASHINGTON — It was not surprising that Texas held out. For years, Texas was among a handful of states that required every resident seeking help with grocery bills to first be fingerprinted, an exercise typically associated with criminals.