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February 13, 2013

Bill bans use of welfare cards in strip clubs, casinos, liquor stores

NORMAN — The Oklahoma Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on Monday gave unanimous approval to legislation that would ban the use of welfare cash cards at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.

Senate Bill 667, authored by Sen. Rob Standridge, would ensure that funds provided through programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are used to provide meaningful help for families who need it most.

“Programs like TANF work best when the government establishes meaningful guidelines to ensure the funds are used to support families in need,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “If the government doesn’t establish those guidelines, welfare funds may subsidize harmful behaviors. This can have disastrous consequences for families, taking food from the table and furthering their need for assistance.”

Standridge said that by attaching common-sense requirements to programs like TANF, they can serve as an effective safety net.

“Requirements like this help direct public assistance to where it is most needed, while discouraging destructive behavior,” Standridge said. “I’m pleased this legislation has advanced and I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support.”

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