Senate passes Public Assistance Integrity Act - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Senate passes Public Assistance Integrity Act

Posted: Updated: Feb 4, 2014 06:00 PM

ALBANY, N.Y .— Time is running out for the New York State Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act. 

Senator Tom Libous urged the passing of the Public Assistance Integrity Act on Tuesday. The Senate moved to pass the bill, which has died in the Assembly for the past two years.

There used to be a stigma attached to buying groceries and using food stamps, so the federal government created an Electronic Benerfit Transfer card, or EBT, to simplify the buying process. Public assistance can now legally be spent at liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs currently in New York. If passed, the bill would prevent welfare purchases like this.

Governor Cuomo gave it a lot of support in his executive budget proposal this year for the bill.

"I believe at some point, if you're a welfare recipient, and you abuse the system and are caught three times, we give you a suspension of benefits for some time and I don't think he (Cuomo) went that far," said State Senate Tom Libous. 

If New York does not comply with the federal mandate by February 22, the state could lose up to $122 million in Federal Temporary Assistance Aid.

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