Sen. Rob Standridge has filed legislation that would disallow the use of any welfare cash cards in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.
Senate Bill 667 states that no electronic benefit transfer card containing state or federal funds from programs including, but not limited to, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), may be used in such establishments.
Standridge said his proposal would work to ensure the funds are directed to their appropriate use – to provide support for the needy while they get back on their feet.
“The aim of programs like TANF is to provide basic support for families while the recipient finds a new job,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “If these funds are wasted at strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos, then the programs can’t achieve their purpose. Taxpayers should never subsidize this sort of self-destructive behavior.”
In order for programs like TANF to work, Standridge noted, government must ensure recipients accept welfare under certain conditions. If not, funds that could put food on the table may be wasted in a manner that directly inhibits the recipient from getting a job, such as alcohol and drug abuse, gambling and other destructive behaviors.
“The misuse and mismanagement of welfare funds has a damaging impact on the families that need help the most,” Standridge said. “It contributes to child neglect and the deterioration of the family. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to prevent this from happening.”