LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The Michigan House has voted to block welfare recipients from withdrawing their taxpayer-provided cash from ATMs in liquor stores, horse tracks and strip clubs.
Legislation approved overwhelmingly Thursday is similar to bills that recently passed the Senate. Backers say they hope the Legislature gives the bills final approval by year’s end.
Republican Rep. Dale Zorn of Ida says welfare is to help people get back on their feet, “not kicking back at adult entertainment venues.”
A similar law for casino ATMs was enacted last year.
Under a 2012 federal law, states that don’t restrict welfare recipients’ ability to conduct electronic transfers at liquor stores, casinos or adult entertainment establishments could lose up to 5 percent of their federal welfare funding.
Sen. Rick Jones, who introduced the bill, said if Michigan doesn’t act on this legislation — the state could be fined five percent of our TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal] grant money — meaning Michigan could lose $40,000.
Jones (R-Grand Ledge) said the proposed bill is a natural followup to a law now in place that prevents cash withdrawals inside casinos.
Those opposed to the law are concerned that it may prevent card users from using ATMs at a corner store in urban neighborhoods where ATMs are scarce.
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