PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Rhode Island lawmakers are trying to enforce a federal law that would prevent electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards from being used at "questionable establishments."
The program is designed to help low-income Rhode Islanders get the essentials they need.
But a recent Target 12 Investigators' Exclusive revealed some Ocean State welfare recipients were using their benefits at liquor stores, bars and a casino.
- Read More: EBT Money Withdrawn at Liquor Stores, Casino
Republican Senator David Bates is proposing a bill that would put an end to that sort of questionable spending.
He says, "it outlines what you can and can't do with an EBT card."
Some other places that wouldn't be allowed to accept the cards include gun shops and tattoo parlors.
In December 2012, $3.1 million was distributed in state aid, but $10,000 was withdrawn at liquor stores, smoke shops, bars and a casino.
In February, the federal government passed a law requiring states to crack down on questionable transactions or risk losing federal funding.
A committee unanimously voted to send the bill to the full Senate for a vote.
If approved, it will then head to the full House.
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