Appeals court: Wash. can cut food program

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SEATTLE (AP) -- A federal appeals court says Washington state can eliminate a program that provides food assistance to legal immigrants.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says cutting the program poses no due process or discrimination concerns to the more than 10,000 homes that receive the aid. The program provides money to legal immigrants who are ineligible for federal food stamps.

Lawmakers tried to cut the program, which costs around $60 million a year, early last year due to severe budget woes, but were blocked by a federal judge in Seattle who sided with immigrants in a class-action lawsuit.

The appeals court said Wednesday that ruling was wrong. It sent the case back to U.S. District Court in Seattle.