Oh darn, welfare recipients may not be able to use their food stamps at poker rooms or strip clubs

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What ever will welfare recipients do if the Florida Legislature follows through on this bill that would make it impossible to use their food stamp debit cards at Internet cafes, pari-mutuels, card rooms and strip clubs?

A controversial measure to require drug felons to undergo treatment before receiving temporary cash assistance passed a House hurdle Tuesday on a party-line vote. Sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, the measure (HB 813) would allow felons who have not undergone treatment to designate someone else to collect Temporary Aid to Needy Families, a federal program administered by the state. Critics say the bill punished low income recipients while backers say the measure helps ensure that taxpayer money is not spent on illicit drug use. “Sometimes all people need to do the right thing is a bit of encouragement,” said Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala. In other action, the panel voted 13-5 to prevent food stamp debit cards from paying for alcohol and tobacco. The cards would also not work in Internet cafes, pari-mutuels, card rooms and adult entertainment venues.

How are those on welfare suppose to enjoy their weekends?  They’re already being drug-tested.  Now they can’t gamble or get a lap dance!

Material from the News Service of Florida was used in this report.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.