Senator Bonacic Urges Assembly to Pass the “Public Assistance Integrity Act”
Senator Bonacic joined members of the Senate Majority today to urge the New York State Assembly to pass the “Public Assistance Integrity Act” (S.966). This legislation, which he is a co-sponsor of, would close a loophole in state law which currently allows public assistance to be spent at liquor stores, casinos, strip clubs, or for beer and cigarettes.
The Senate passed the bill today, which has died in the Assembly for two consecutive years after passing the Senate. However, due to new federal requirements, if New York does not close this loophole, it is now at risk of losing up to $122 million in federal temporary assistance aid.
Senator Bonacic stated that “This is a commonsense piece of legislation which prevents abuse of taxpayer funds. This assistance should be going to those who are truly in need. Instead, we get reports of assistance funds being used at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores. The Assembly has repeatedly refused to act to address this issue, and has now put the state at risk of losing federal funds. It is disgraceful; they need to act, and they need to act now.”