ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are proposing new restrictions on the use of electronic benefit cards for welfare recipients.
The bill from Sen. Doug Magnus and Rep. Kurt Daudt would prohibit withdrawing cash or buying tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets with the cards. It would also ban their use outside Minnesota and require users to show photo ID.
Magnus says he wants to stop abuse of the cards, which contain both federal food stamp benefits and state cash assistance for those on the Minnesota Family Investment Program.
Democratic Rep. Jeff Hayden says the proposal would punish the poor and could make it harder for people to look for work if they couldn’t get cash for bus fare or child care.
The bill doesn’t specify any penalties for violations.
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