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New Missouri Law Prohibits Welfare Spending At Liquor Stores, Casinos, Strip Clubs

Categories: News, Politics

strip-club-file-1.jpg
via Wikimedia Commons
Should welfare recipients in Missouri be banned from using their benefits at strip clubs and liquor stores?

Governor Jay Nixon has officially signed into law a bill supported by Republicans and Democrats that aims to curb public assistance fraud and specifically prohibits the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds at liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment establishments.

"Here in Missouri, we believe in protecting taxpayers and strengthening families - and that is what these programs are designed to do," Nixon says in a statement. "By strengthening existing protections for taxpayers and children, and cracking down on those who misuse public funds, this bill will help ensure these programs continue to provide temporary support for needy families and children in a proper and accountable way."

Under Senate Bill 251, full language on view below, an individual, store owner or proprietor of an establishment is banned from accepting TANF cash assistance funds held on Electronic Benefits Transfer cards for specified liquor, gambling and adult-oriented purchases.

If they violate the law, they could face fines of up to $500 for the first offense, up to $1,000 for a second offense and more for a third offense.

casino-file-photo-1.jpg
via Wikimedia Commons

Additionally, if a TANF recipient is caught violating this provision, he or she would have to reimburse the Department of Social Services for the purchase.

The bill also increases penalties for fraud, including the unlawful receipt, conversion or transfer of public assistance benefits.

State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, a Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, released a statement praising the bill's passage:

Our bill encourages the Department of Social Services to create an investigative structure to prevent these funds from being used in casinos, liquor stores and other inappropriate places. By signing our bill, the governor continues his policy and legacy of targeting fraud and abuse of state tax dollars.

A KMOV (Channel 4) investigation last year shed light on this problem.

The station reported that Missouri TANF users were withdrawing money from strip clubs in Las Vegas, a gambling center in the Virgin Islands, a saloon in Texas -- and more.

Here's a copy of the legislation, signed yesterday.

Senate Bill 251

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


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51 comments
Frank Motlik
Frank Motlik

Yes... There should be a law passed that EBT cards are INACTIVATED IMMEDIATELY if they show transactions for booze or strip clubs.

Dan Kelemen
Dan Kelemen

What? People on welfare actually use the money is adult clubs that's so not fair I work hard and cannot even afford to pay attention.

Andy Crossett
Andy Crossett

More stupidity. Who is going to enforce these laws? Guess what, somone very poor won't be at the strip club doing thiis.

Kathi Barnett- Bilbrey
Kathi Barnett- Bilbrey

Uh , I have one question,,It wont let me look at the other comments.. but what stops them from getting cash back lets say Wal-Mart or any other place that takes these cards and spend cash in those places they cannot use the card at ? It would be undetectable....

Melvin Mohn
Melvin Mohn

If I can't afford to go (that's what my wife tells me) then I sure don't think my hard earned tax dollars should be used to allow others to.

Debra Correll
Debra Correll

It should be used for food and the things they need..Not gambeling & strip clubs...Not to buy alcolhol cigarretts. For Real stop abusing the system!!

Marshall Patrick
Marshall Patrick

Florida just passed a law to start drug testing welfare recipients.....it's about time ! All States should follow by example.

Gordon Gengler
Gordon Gengler

They should have to pay the state back sosometime in there life.

Kerrie Weston
Kerrie Weston

Hell yes, they should get dropped permanently

Cyndi Todaro
Cyndi Todaro

why was it even allowed in the first place !?!

Jack Farrell
Jack Farrell

the law is all good but can't you just pull the cash out of a atm anywhere and then go buy crack or pussy. not too sure what the differents is

Rachael Martin
Rachael Martin

hell yes, and they should be forfeited for life.

Mike Brown
Mike Brown

Fuck them ! They need to go back to actual food stamps and post your name with picture on state web site !

Adam Paul Ritchie
Adam Paul Ritchie

Receipts should be turned in for expenses, then you can see if you qualify for another check the next month.

Daniel Sexauer
Daniel Sexauer

Lol at Richard Nixon involved with a new Missouri law

Meg Wilson
Meg Wilson

Nixon as in JAY Nixon. Not Richard Nixon. Read the article.. sheesh.

Andrew Bohler
Andrew Bohler

I don't have money for strip clubs because the government takes mine and gives it to someone else to go who makes less money.

Ron Sikes
Ron Sikes

I'm more concerned with what corporate tax dodgers, lawmakers, politicians, and lobbyists do with my money. They abuse the system WAY more than the people that are being targeted in this bill.

Jon Todaro
Jon Todaro

The people that say it's not important, are the ones that don't pay taxes. If your priorities warrant you to go get a lap dance while drinking alcohol (yet you claim to barely be getting by), your eligibility needs to be revoked and you need to reevaluate your own priorities.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

don't really care except for the fact they are using our tax payer dollars ... teach them how to fish...they would rather steal the fish from you & me...

Mswazi Msanii
Mswazi Msanii

Let them do whatever they wish with the welfare..You gave them the fish instead of showing them how to wait 80 hours or so on the shores of River Missouri to make a catch.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

Nixon was a scumbag and Reagan lied about welfare queens. The only welfare queens our the billion dollar corporations that have been robbing this country blind for years.

Neil Aimaro
Neil Aimaro

Stories like this really piss me off. While so many people unjustifiably do not qualify for social welfare even the local media has to shove this propaganda down our throats about how they think people on welfare are "Wasting our tax dollars" Fuck you RFT for running such a bullshit story. Yea cause I've been to so many strip clubs that accept wick cards and food stamps. We got banks ripping us off for billions and billions of dollars with impunity and this is what RFT wants to focus on? Fuck that. The problem is not social welfare, it's corporate welfare. Gee when was the last time I saw RFT run a story on corporate welfare? Oh yea that's right I don't ever remember that happening...Gee I wonder why. Fuck RFT for running such bullshit.

Christine Gonzalez
Christine Gonzalez

There are so many people on this that shouldn't be. It was never set up to live on just to get you back on your feet in a time of hardship. We need a deadline on how long people can stay on this.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

why not just sell the card to a meth dealer for meth and go prostitute for real

Martienne Cotter
Martienne Cotter

I can't believe it was accepted at those places to begin with!

Sara Hughes
Sara Hughes

This part bothered me: "The station reported that Missouri TANF users were withdrawing money from strip clubs in Las Vegas, a gambling center in the Virgin Islands, a saloon in Texas -- and more." What happens when MO residents use the funds outside the state? Are they still penalized?

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

ya, it's just fraud. that's all. not important.

Luther Ham Jr
Luther Ham Jr

people will sell their ebt benifits for alcohol and drugs....how they gonna stop that.- well I have an idea!

Kelly Babillis
Kelly Babillis

If you cannot buy "hot foods" why should you be able to buy alcohol? One small detail of the program that makes no sense to me.

Sarah Blanton
Sarah Blanton

Not important?! You don't mind that hardworking tax payers' money paying for that? Smh

Luther Ham Jr
Luther Ham Jr

yep. sure do--- what the hell arev people doing in places like that when their suppose to be clothing and feeding their children.make it law and put block out areas for that kinda stuff GET REAL AMERICA!

Sarah Blanton
Sarah Blanton

If you bothered to read the article, you would see that Nixon was the one that signed the bill to prevent fraud and welfare funds being used for strip clubs and gambling. I completely support this law.

Paul Hibbard
Paul Hibbard

Yes but these are bullshit issues that aren't very important in the grand scheme of things

Joe Harman
Joe Harman

Good... But Nixon will probably veto it too

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