New York May Ban Welfare Spending on Alcohol, Gambling

It may become the next state to place restrictions on the use of food stamps

New York may become the next state to restrict the usage of welfare benefits; AP reports that the New York Senate has passed a bill that prohibits citizens on welfare from spending their benefits on cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, and strip clubs.

Specifically, the act would prohibit the purchase of tobacco products, alcohol, and lottery tickets, and although it would be difficult to enforce the rule, the AP suggests that it will be easier to simply block withdrawals at certain locations like liquor stores.

Other states which already limit welfare purchases include Washington (alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment), Indiana (guns, gambling, alcohol), Arizona (lottery tickets), California (gambling, adult entertainment), and Colorado (alcohol, gambling, guns). Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania finish out the list.

The bill's proponent, Republican Sen. Thomas Libous, claims that if New York doesn't cut down on welfare spending, the state could lose $125 million in federal funding for the program.