House bans welfare recipients’ money from strip clubs, liquor stores
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill that prohibits welfare recipients from using their government subsidy in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.
The measure easily received the necessary support of two-thirds of House members, with 395 voting in favor and only 27 opposing.
So this was a very bi-partisan vote. Funny how CBS doesn’t use the word. But we thought bi-partisanship was wonderful.
House Republicans introduced and promoted the proposal as a way to eliminate government wasteful spending. It has passed the House before, and they re-introduced it again hoping it will become part of a bill to extend the payroll tax credit, which both the House and Senate is expected to debate this month.
The Senate has not agreed to take up the measure….
An effort by Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to move California closer to making sure that those who receive welfare use those taxpayer funds as effectively and efficiently as possible was killed by Democrats during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee this week.
Senate Bill 417 would have prohibited those who receive welfare from using their Electronic Benefits Card (EBT) for the purchase of alcohol or tobacco products. Currently, those with EBT cards receive both their food stamps and welfare money, called CalWORKS benefits, on the ETB card. While current law does not allow recipients to use their food stamp portion of their benefits to purchase alcohol or tobacco, they can buy those items with the CalWORKS funds.
“You would think a simple common sense reform like trying to make sure taxpayer money is not used for the purchase of alcohol and tobacco would find bi-partisan support,” Senator Dutton said.
Abuses of the EBT card has received national attention over the last year, after the Los Angeles Times reported how millions of dollars of taxpayer money was being withdrawn with EBT cards from Indian Gaming Casinos, strip clubs, cruise ships, and Las Vegas. While the Governor issued an Executive Order to stop the use of EBT cards at these locations, it did not address stopping the purchase of alcohol or tobacco.
“These funds are designed to help the neediest in California meet their basic requirements of providing food, clothing and shelter,” Senator Dutton said. “I doubt there’s not a taxpayer in this state who believes purchasing alcohol or tobacco with welfare money constitutes a basic need and should be allowed.”
I also wrote on this topic after the L.A. Times broke the story, which states:
The Capitol Casino, which occupies a pair of small rooms a few blocks from the legislative chambers in Sacramento, appears on the social services website showing where clients can get money. Each room has an ATM: one is so close to a poker table that a player with long arms could lean back and withdraw cash without leaving his chair; the other is a few steps from the blackjack table.
At the Casino Royale on the outskirts of Sacramento, the first thing patrons pass as they walk to the gaming floor is the ATM with a sign next to it saying, “Exceed your ATM daily limit here!!”….