Albany, N.Y. – 04/01/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, has announced that the New York State 2014-2015 Budget includes a provision (S6358D) that will prohibit the use of an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card by recipients of public assistance at certain locations.
In February, Senator Greg Ball joined Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous and other New York State Senate Legislators to urge for the passage of this initiative to restore integrity in the state’s public assistance program.
“New Yorkers are always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need, but we don’t like seeing taxpayer money wasted. Preventing EBT cards from being used to purchase things like alcohol, lottery tickets and adult entertainment is common sense,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I am glad to have worked with my colleagues to ensure the State Budget included this provision to ensure families in need get the temporary support they require, while also protecting hard-working taxpayers from abuse.”
The state budget provision will prohibit the use of EBT cards at liquor stores, wine stores, beer wholesalers, adult-oriented entertainment facilities, and gaming establishments including casinos, pari-mutuel wagering facilities, video lottery facilities and commercial charitable gaming facilities.
Senator Ball created a petition on his Senate website that garnered over 1,000 signatures since it was launched in June of 2013.
In addition to preventing abuse of EBT cards, Senator Ball is also calling for the passage of a bill he has coined, “Urine or You’re Out” (S3905-A). The legislation would change the New York’s social services law to require applicants of public assistance to be screened for alcohol and/or substance abuse. If the person tests positive, they would be immediately denied public assistance and referred to a treatment program. Testing would be repeated every six months.
“This type of law is not intended to embarrass or humiliate people in need. I understand that times are tough. However, we need to be sure that this money is being used for its intended purpose,” added Senator Ball. “Taxes are killing this state. This is one way to not only tighten the belt and save millions of dollars, but get addicts the help they need.”
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