BOSTON (AP) - The Massachusetts Senate has approved a budget amendment that prohibits welfare recipients from using Electronic Benefit Transfer cards in liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs.
The measure that passed late Thursday would also require the MBTA and regional transit systems to accept EBT cards for purchasing fares, and directs the state's welfare agency to develop a system for making vendor payments for rent and utilities if it was determined that recipients were not using their cash assistance properly.
The new restrictions on EBT purchases add to others already in the Senate budget, including guns, pornography, tattoos and body piercings.
The House-passed budget has a lengthier list of restrictions on EBT purchases. The differences will be worked out later by a House-Senate conference committee on the spending plan.
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