New York senators are advancing legislation to establish penalties for spending welfare funds on liquor, lottery tickets, cigarettes or strip clubs, saying there’s $125 million in federal funds at stake.
States that fail to take steps to curb using debit cards to get cash from ATMs at casinos and liquor stores by Feb. 22 face possible loss of federal aid.
Local State Senator Tom O’Mara is a co-sponsor of the bill.
An Assembly spokesman says the change can be done administratively, and the Senate’s bill goes far beyond what federal law requires.
The bill’s sponsors say most recipients use assistance responsibly.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.