Issues: Public Assistance

Senate Passes Public Assistance Integrity Act to Crack Down on Welfare Abuse

Reforms to EBT Debit Cards Will Qualify New York for Federal Funding

            ALBANY - With only weeks left to meet a federal deadline requiring changes that will clamp down on fraud in New York’s public assistance system, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) and her Senate colleagues passed the Public Assistance Integrity Act (Senate Bill 966) today. The reforms will prevent recipients of public assistance from making Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card withdrawals at liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs, helping to prevent wasteful and unnecessary purchases, while keeping New York State in compliance with federal requirements.

February 4, 2014
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Senate Passes Bill to Prevent Welfare Cards from Buying Tobacco, Alcohol, and Being Used at Liquor Stores, Casinos and Strip Clubs

The New York Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” sponsored by Senator Tom Libous, which would prohibit welfare benefits from being used to purchase alcohol and tobacco, or to be used at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs in New York.

 “Public Assistance should not be spent at liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs, but under New York State Law, it’s legal. We need to stop this abuse,” said Libous. “Every welfare dollar spent at the liquor store is money that could be going to help families get back on their feet.”

Parts of Libous’ Public Assistance Integrity Act were also added to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget Proposal. The provisions added would make it illegal to use EBT Cards at liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos.

February 4, 2014
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Senate approves 'Public Assistance Integrity Act' to prohibit abuses of public assistance benefits

Albany, N.Y., February 4—The State Senate today approved, with strong bipartisan support, legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to enact what’s called the “Public Assistance Integrity Act.”  The act would prohibit public assistance recipients from using their state-administered electronic benefit transfer (EBT) debit cards to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets, or to use their EBT cards to make withdrawals from ATMs at liquor stores, casinos or adult entertainment facilities such as strip clubs.

February 4, 2014
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Senate bill would curb public assistance abuse

The State Senate today passed legislation to prohibit the use of public assistance benefits for purchasing alcohol, tobacco products or lottery tickets.   The legislation also would prohibit the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards at liquor stores, casinos or establishments providing adult-oriented entertainment.

February 4, 2014
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Senate Passes Bill to Prevent Welfare Cards from Buying Tobacco, Alcohol and Being Used at Liquor Stores, Casinos and Strip Clubs

The New York Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” sponsored by Senator Tom Libous, which would prohibit welfare benefits from being used to purchase alcohol and tobacco, or to be used at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs in New York.

“Public Assistance should not be spent at liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs, but under New York State Law, it’s legal. We need to stop this abuse,” said Libous. “Every welfare dollar spent at the liquor store is money that could be going to help families get back on their feet.”

Parts of Libous’ Public Assistance Integrity Act were also added to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget Proposal. The provisions added would make it illegal to use EBT Cards at liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos.

February 4, 2014
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Public Assistance Integrity Act Overwhelmingly Approved By Senate

ALBANY, 02/04/14 – The New York State Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” to crack down on welfare fraud and prohibit welfare recipients from using cash assistance for the purchase of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or for casino gambling. 

The legislation (S.966), co-sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) would also prevent individuals receiving welfare from using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to make ATM withdrawals from certain places, including liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs. 

February 4, 2014
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RITCHIE URGES PUBLIC TO JOIN THE FIGHT AGAINST WELFARE ABUSE

Online Petition Aims to Stop Welfare Use in Liquor Stores, Bars and Casinos

State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging the public to join her fight against welfare abuse by signing an online petition to stop the use of EBT benefit cards in liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment businesses.

Her call comes as the State Senate passed a bill—for the third time in as many years—that makes those businesses off-limits for using welfare cards. Senator Ritchie is a cosponsor of that bill (S.966).

***CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION***

“Welfare benefits are intended to help those who have fallen on hard times, to feed their families and make ends meet, and taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to buy booze, cigarettes and lottery tickets,” Senator Ritchie said.

The Senator’s “Public Assistance Integrity Act” would prohibit the use of welfare benefits to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets, and bars the use of EBT benefit cards in liquor stores, casinos and adult entertainment businesses.

February 4, 2014
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O'Mara: Senate moving forward with 'Public Assistance Integrity Act' to protect taxpayers from abuse of welfare benefits

Albany, N.Y., January 31—The State Senate is moving forward with legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to enact the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” to prohibit public assistance recipients from using their state-funded electronic benefit transfer (EBT) debit cards to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets, or to use their EBT cards to make withdrawals from ATMs at liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs.

January 31, 2014
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Three thousand join Ranzenhofer’s campaign to protect tax dollars

Encouraging State Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that his new petition drive,  encouraging the State Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act, has garnered more than 3,300 signatures since launching the campaign one week ago.

“Thousands of Western New York residents have added their voice to mine in calling on the State Assembly to pass a bill that protects our tax dollars,” said Ranzenhofer.  “We are sending a powerful message to the State Assembly: a fraud prevention measure is needed to prohibit welfare benefits from being spent on alcohol, cigarettes and other non-essential items.”

November 1, 2013
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Senator O'Mara co-sponsors Senate action to end welfare fraud

Albany, N.Y., June 21—The New York State Senate today approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” to prohibit public assistance recipients from using their cash assistance benefit to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets, and to combat other abuses of the public welfare system. 

June 21, 2013
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O'Mara, colleagues move to combat welfare abuses

Albany, N.Y., June 21—The New York State Senate has approved legislation co-sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” to prohibit public assistance recipients from using their cash assistance benefit to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages or lottery tickets, and to combat other abuses of the public welfare system.

June 21, 2013
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Senate Passes Public Assistance Integrity Act

Legislation Would Curb Abuse of Public Assistance

ALBANY - The New York State Senate has passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” co-sponsored by Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean), that would prohibit welfare recipients from using cash assistance for tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or gambling.

“Temporary public assistance is supposed to help people get back on their feet as they work to become self-sufficient. Unfortunately, far too many individuals are abusing the program that is intended for groceries and other necessities. It is time to cut down on the blatant misuse of these funds,” said Senator Young.

June 19, 2013
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RITCHIE: NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR SMOKES, BOOZE, LOTTO

Senate Passes Ritchie Cosponsored Measure to Stop Welfare Recipients

From Using EBT Cards on Alcohol, Lotto Tickets, Casino Gambling 

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced a measure she cosponsored to prohibit welfare recipients from using their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Cards on items such as cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and lottery tickets or casino gambling, has passed the State Senate.

“EBT cards are intended to help people who have fallen on hard times afford the necessities.  But, when these cards are used to purchase things like smokes, booze or lottery tickets, it’s a major waste of taxpayer money” said Senator Ritchie. 

June 19, 2013
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SENATOR GALLIVAN VOTES IN FAVOR OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INTEGRITY ACT

Legislation Designed to Protect Taxpayers Against Abuse of Public Assistance

Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) today voted in favor of the “Public Integrity Act” (S. 966), which protects taxpayers by cutting down on the abuse of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards by prohibiting welfare recipients from using the money associated with the card for the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets and gambling, as well as strip clubs.

June 19, 2013
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Griffo Says Senate Passed Public Assistance Integrity Act

 “Public Assistance Integrity Act” Would Comply with Federal Guidelines,
Safeguard Taxpayer Dollars while Ensuring Individuals Get Assistance They Need

June 18, 2013
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SENATE PASSES PUBLIC ASSISTANCE INTEGRITY ACT

Legislation To Curb Abuse of Public Assistance

The New York State Senate today approved the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” sponsored by Senator Tom Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton),  that would help cut down on the flagrant abuse of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards by prohibiting welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or to gamble.

June 18, 2013
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Senate Passes Legislation To Curb Abuse of Public Assistance

Senate Passes Public Assistance Integrity Act

The New York State Senate today approved the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” that would help cut down on the flagrant abuse of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards by prohibiting welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or to gamble.

EBT cards work like a debit card for welfare recipients. This card contains both Food Stamps and Cash Assistance. Food Stamps have strict regulations on what can be purchased, Cash Assistance does not. Cash Assistance is intended for items that can’t be purchased using food stamps, like soap, toothpaste, school supplies and toiletries.

June 18, 2013
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Senate Passes Public Assistance Integrity Act

The New York State Senate today approved the “Public Assistance Integrity Act,” sponsored by Senator Tom Libous (R-C-I, Binghamton),  that would help cut down on the flagrant abuse of EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards by prohibiting welfare recipients from using cash assistance to purchase tobacco, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or to gamble.

 "Public assistance is designed to help needy families provide for their children until they can transition back to the workforce and become self-sufficient,”  Senator Libous said.  “This common-sense legislation would protect hardworking taxpayers from abuse while ensuring that families receiving welfare benefits continue to get the temporary assistance they need and deserve.”

June 18, 2013
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Public Assistance Integrity Act Passes Senate

ALBANY, 06/18/13 – The New York State Senate today passed the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” to crack down on welfare fraud and prohibit welfare recipients from using Cash Assistance for the purchase of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets or for casino gambling. 

June 18, 2013
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