SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has unanimously approved a measure to prohibit welfare recipients from using their electronic benefit cards to make purchases or cash withdrawals at liquor stores, bars, casinos, strip clubs and [auth] other adult entertainment businesses.
Rep. Nate Gentry, an Albuquerque Republican, said Wednesday the legislation is needed to comply with federal requirements and the state could lose $5 million in federal aid if the restrictions aren’t enacted.
Welfare-to-work program recipients receive cards similar to a debit card for the amount of their cash assistance. The cards can be used at ATMs or at retailers.
The Human Services Department has identified $44,000 in transactions last year at businesses covered by the proposed ban.
New Mexico currently prohibits use of benefit cards at tribal casinos but not at horse racing track casinos.