Bill says no to buying booze or adult entertainment with Electronic Benefit Transfer

May 14, 2013

Arizona welfare recipients may soon see a crackdown on their benefits, at least when it comes to certain industries. The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that prohibits the use of benefits at liquor, gambling and adult entertainment businesses.

Welfare recipients are issued their benefits via Electronic Benefit Transfer or EBT cards. They can be used like debit cards to buy things or to withdraw cash from ATMs. The bill says the cards cannot be used at some adult-orientated businesses, but under the same proposed law, the cards can still be used at grocery stores located in the same building as a casino.

The Senate passed the bill in a 26-1 vote in April. It now needs Governor Jan Brewer’s signature to become law. Arizona is among a growing number of states blocking welfare recipients from spending their benefits on booze, gambling and strippers.

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