Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo are at it again, sparring over whether or not food stamp recipients should be fingerprinted, a debate that's been growing for months and is reaching a fever pitch as more New Yorkers than ever need the benefits.

In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Cuomo took a hard line against the practice, which was stopped in most of the state in 2007 but maintained in the city at Bloomberg's request. "One of the things we do now and makes the stigma actually worse and creates a barrier for families coming forward to get food stamps is we require fingerprinting. I'm saying stop fingerprinting for families,” said Cuomo, a sentiment backed by many hunger and welfare advocates.

But Bloomberg responded yesterday, saying recipients need to be fingerprinted to prevent "people who want to game the system." “There’s no stigma attached to being fingerprinted,” he said. “We have 230,000 employees in New York City and almost all of them get fingerprinted. Most companies fingerprint in this day and age—at least the smart ones do.” Ooh, burn on Cuomo! Bloomberg says he hasn't talked to the Governor personally yet, but plans to try to convince him to change his mind.

City Council speaker Christine Quinn, for her part, also opposed the move: “In these tough economic times, we need to help New Yorkers get the federal services they qualify for, not put obstacles in their way. Unfortunately, Mayor Bloomberg and I couldn’t disagree more—fingerprinting food stamp applicants is a time consuming and unnecessary process, which stigmatizes applicants and has prevented 24,000 New Yorkers from getting the help they deserve. The State has the authority to eliminate finger imaging in New York City, and the Mayor should not even think of challenging Governor Cuomo’s decision.”