Skip to comments.Fla. bill would ban using food stamps for stripper, casino tabs
Posted on 03/16/2013 10:03:04 AM PDT by Moseley
Floridas strip clubs, liquor stores, casinos, pornographic video shops and bookstores would no longer receive food stamps and welfare money, if a bill filed by state Rep. Jimmie T. Smith, R-Inverness, passes the Legislature. Last week, the Houses Healthy Families Subcommittee approved HB 701, and it continues to progress through Tallahassee.
Last year, Jacksonvilles Action News found that food stamp cards were being used at strip clubs, bars and gaming centers in Jacksonville, saying, No one is tracking how or where the money is being spent. The Florida Department of Children and Families officials told Action News reporter Ashley Coleman that recipients can use the card to buy anything you want. DCF said it lacked laws needed to prevent such abuses. Similar revelations have been reported in New York and California.
Smiths measure would require that an electronic benefits transfer card may not be used or accepted at certain establishments and specify penalties for violations of card use restrictions. Although food stamps are dispursed under a federal program, they are managed by the states. Smiths proposed reform is authorized by a section of the federal Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, meant to fix the problem.
ATM machines can be used to withdraw food stamp cash almost anywhere. Paper food stamps in their old form are obsolete. Recipients now get pre-paid debit cards called EBT, or electronic benefit transfer, cards. EBT cards allow recipients to spend the funds anywhere a credit card or debit card is accepted, for almost anything. The pre-paid cards are recharged regularly with money from the government.
Strip clubs and casinos presumably install ATM machines to exploit the weaknesses of patrons tempted to spend more than they should. In many states, millions of dollars from government assistance funds have been spent on the ATM fees alone at such establishments, according to media reports. Presumably, the cash can be spent at the strip clubs, casinos, liquor stores, etc., without any paper trail.
Smiths HB 701 comes as nearly 48 million Americans are receiving food stamps. The program has increased by 135 percent, and the number participating has increased by 70 percent over the last four years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Government Accountability Office found that the number of food stamp recipients has doubled and that the costs have increased four-fold over the last decade.
Government Accountability Office auditors found that $460 million of food stamp benefits went to ineligible recipients. A gas station clerk in California recently revealed that some on food stamps have as much as $7,000 unused on their EBT card, prompting investigations in California, according to media reports.
Even better would be limiting EBT purchases to meat, milk, eggs, bread and vegetables.
It is patently egregious that this wasn’t prevented in the first place. Who the hell was the fricking governor down there? Didn’t do their job, probably wouldn’t be a good president, either.
Oh noes noes noes....you can’t dictate the diet of what an Obama voter eats! /sarc.....(The Wookie’s School and Fast Food Dictates, Bloomberg, et al....)
The Dems will fight this mean-spirited attempt to deny the poor a few of life’s humble pleasures.
Even better....let them have to go to a food bank every week. That should get rid of a few million leaches.
But... this is bad for business.
Just imagine all the strip clubs and casinos that will see a decrease in their business. Not to mention the individual strippers who are benefiting from these purchases.
Definitely an anti-business bill.
Another evil racist Republican is trying to make life miserable for the downtrodden.
Either give them the money or don’t. Monitoring the peeps use of money is expensive and totalitarian.
This will be unpopular, but I want to know how much is this gonna cost the state? Because the folks who want to gamble their money away will still do it. They’ll just buy food and sell it on the street, 10 cents to the dollar. So if this costs the taxpayer more money, then forget it.
Yet another ‘story’ that deep in your heart you know we have reached this point
“We” keep looking for the Satire label— for, just as deep in your heart, you never really believed you would live long enough to see such a ridiculous story.
Wasn’t it Ronald Reagan who said one of his first acts as Governor was to have people ‘pick up their checks in person’, which enabled them to purge the rolls and save billions.
So, in retaliation, ‘they’ have now done away with the stigma of food stamps, stopped sending checks and now ‘the USERS’ get their money placed in a bank account and given a card to use.
So, when the state grants drivers licenses to illegals and the Fed/States give ‘bank accounts’ to the illegals, it is kind of hard for ‘Us’ Mortals to pick them out of a crowd and YET be able to blame ‘US’ for hiring the same people ‘they’ are ‘making legal’ when they decide to do a little soul searching..... and want to ‘fine’ us for hiring them, then ‘fine’ us when we try to check the people out, and -heaven forbid you make a mistake - ‘They’ assist in suing you for whatever charges come to mind.
Ain’t life grand???
It is a tragedy, IMO, that any state legislature has to waste time with special legislation to ban the use of public funds for this garbage.
These cards should be limited to meat, milk and veggies. No beer, soda, junk food, cake, pies, candy, etc., etc.
I don’t mind feeding people in need, but I want them to want enough other things that they will be inspired to get off of public assistance so they can buy whatever they choose.
If it passes the legislature? I would like to see the legislator supporting the use of food stamps at strip clubs.
That is a lie. The money comes from the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. And I, for one, am tired of paying for these kinds of abuses.
“Poor and Blacks dis-proportionately affected”....the ol’ rhetoric that covers everything from background checks, Voter ID, welfare benefits, to PELL Grants and cash handouts from FEMA......
I can’t figure out why someone put this on the Virginia page.... ?
Well, (a) I am in the Northern Virginia Tea Party, and
(b) let’s get the Virginia legislature on this.
Other than that, mea culpa. Sorry.
Take the King’s Coin, Do the King’s bidding.
I couldn’t figure out how this topic had anything to do with us in Virginia! :^)
How was it possible for this to happen IN THE FIRST PLACE????