What the hell is this world coming to when we aren't able to use our Food Stamp cards in strip clubs, casinos and liqour stores???
Bills restricting Bridge Card use on ATMs, strip clubs pass state Senate
2:33 PM, October 22, 2013 |
LANSING — State lawmakers are moving forward with legislation that adds restrictions on those receiving public cash
The Senate passed a package of six bills Tuesday that would restrict where people receiving public benefits can withdraw cash from ATMS using their Bridge cards. The bills cleared the Senate by six votes, 35-3, with Detroit Democratic Sens. Morris Hood, Virgil Smith and Coleman Young Jr. opposing.
The bills would prohibit people from using Bridge cards at ATMs in casinos, certain liquor stores, horse racing tracks and strip clubs. People who receive cash assistance — on average about $540 a month — can use their cards to get cash at ATMs for things like child care costs
A recipient can still use his or her Bridge card to pay for food in those stores, but would have to find an ATM at a different location for cash.
Hood said the legislation still did not sufficiently address circumstances where a liquor store ATM might be a Bridge card user’s only option to withdraw their cash benefits.
“There’s a lack of access to ATMS and banks in urban areas,” where many residents also can’t afford a car
Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, who sponsored the package, said the added restrictions allow the state to be more in line with federal regulations that were instituted last year. If the state does not adjust its restrictions to comply, it risks losing $40 million in federal aid, Jones said.
“This is common sense legislation. Bridge Cards should be temporary and should only be used to buy basic necessities,” Jones said in a statement after the vote.
Under an amendment proposed by Jones, Bridge card users would still be able to use the cards at liquor stores where at least 50% of the business comes from food sales. This should better accommodate Bridge card users who live in rural areas, where the liquor and grocery store might be one in the same, Jones said.
The Senate package now goes to the House for approval. The House is considering its own version of the package.
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