The Norman Transcript

May 16, 2013

Legislation prevents use of welfare for strip clubs and liquor

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Gov. Mary Fallin has signed legislation that would prohibit the use of welfare cash cards in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos.

Authored by Sen. Rob Standridge, Senate Bill 667 would help ensure public assistance is ultimately being used to support families and children who need it most. 

“This law ensures these funds serve as a more effective safety net for families in need,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “Programs like TANF cannot work effectively if the government doesn’t establish meaningful guidelines for their purpose and use. 

“This legislation helps guarantee welfare funds are directed to the support of families as they get back on their feet. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues and I am thankful the governor has signed the bill into law.”

Standridge recently participated in a forum hosted by Help in Reaching Employment, a TANF education program at Moore Norman Technology Center, where he discussed his legislation. Standridge said he was pleased to find widespread support for his proposal and other efforts to help needy Oklahomans transfer from welfare to work. 

Standridge applauded the efforts of HIRE and its participants, saying the organization helps members of the community achieve their potential and live more fulfilling lives.

Becky Boyd-Wood, of HIRE, said it was important to limit the misuse of funds provided for families in need.

“As we work with welfare recipients in training for employment, we have seen first-hand how TANF provides necessary resources, enabling families to stabilize, progress to employment and move out of poverty,” she said. “Though we are aware there are some who ‘work the system,’ our experience has enabled us to see the system work, improving outcomes for thousands in our state.

“It is not surprising that our TANF recipients support Senate Bill 667 as a means to enforce accountability and reduce the misuse of benefits provided for families in need.”