How about instead of handing out EBT cards, a location is set up for essentials to be distributed. People in need of assistance could get exactly what they need such as food, toiletries, school supplies for kids, etc. If they can make their way to a store with an EBT card, they can make their way to pick up supplies instead. Cigarettes and beer would then something that they'd have to get on their own. Isn't that how things used to be done? Items such as eggs, cheese, peanut butter, bread and cereals were distributed to people in need.
Ranzenhofer says 3K people have signed petition against public assistance cards being used for beer, smokes
Submitted by Howard Owens on November 1, 2013 - 4:03pm
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,” Ranzenhofer said. “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.”
Senator Ranzenhofer launched the online petition on Oct. 25.
“I hope that residents will consider adding their voice to the thousands who have already expressed their support for passing the Public Assistance Integrity Act. It is not too late to sign my online petition, and I encourage residents to join our campaign to protect taxpayer dollars,” Ranzenhofer said.
Residents can still sign the petition by visiting ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov.
The Public Assistance Integrity Act (S.966) would prohibit using EBT cards for tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, and ATM cash withdrawals at liquor stores and casinos. Senator Ranzenhofer is a co-sponsor of the legislation. The bill passed the State Senate on June 18. The State Assembly has not taken action on the bill.
EBT cards work like a debit card for public assistance recipients, containing both a Food Stamp and Cash Assistance component. Strict regulations already guide what can be purchased for Food Stamps. Cash assistance is intended to pay for items not covered by Food Stamps, such as soap, toothpaste, school supplies and toiletries. Currently, there are no restrictions on the use of Cash Assistance.
Federal aid received by New York may be at risk if the State Assembly does not pass the bill. The federal government has mandated that states implement a fraud prevention system by February 2014. If New York State does not act accordingly, the Federal government will penalize the State by cutting federal funding for Cash Assistance by 5 percent or $120 million.
Doug, those Government surplus food distributions still occur regularly. They provided cheese, butter, honey, powdered milk, canned pork, and vegetables.
The fact that EBT cards can be used to get cash assistance is absurd... PERIOD!
Why will (S.966) only prohibit using EBT cards for ATM cash withdrawals at liquor stores and casinos? EBT cards should not allow ANY cash withdrawals. They should be usable for necessary good and services ONLY!
So an EBT card holder can get cash at an ATM at Tops and then buy beer and cigarettes, and then go next door to Batavia Downs Gaming and blow the rest of the cash... what a great state NY is.
stand out save a lot at the beginning of the month when benefits are loaded to the cards and you will see people offering to "sell" you there benefit card. I saw a man doing this one day. He even approached me with his of offer. I even called social services and was pretty much told it is hard to prove anything.
Social Service employees don't seem to care because THEY are probably getting kickbacks from all their friends & relatives that they sign up for free money & prepaid for services from the taxpayers. The whole Social services business needs to be revamped & controlled by responsible people that lookout for the taxpayer, NOT their friends & relatives on welfare or the local drug dealers they buy their "Get High" supplies from....
I went to that website & there isn't anything listed as a Petition to sign about the IBT cards!!
EDIT, I must be blind, it was right there on the 1st line: Looks just like this:
Yes Senator, I agree with you that public assistance should not be used to purchase items such as alcohol, lottery tickets and cigarettes, and by signing this petition I encourage the State Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act.
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Email Address: *
State: New York
Zip Code: *
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And I did send out an e-mail to my friends that are not enhanced Star recipients, about re-signing up for the BASIC STATE STAR tax program by 31 December 2013 so you can carry on next year getting the basic star exemption.. I & other senior citizens are not affected by this rule change, I do mine every March & If I don't do it, I'd have to pay school taxes in Full for next year instead of the $0.00 I pay now......