Legislation seeks to curb welfare fraud

May 16, 2013

Missouri welfare recipients would be barred from spending their cash benefits at casinos, liquor stores or strip clubs under legislation sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The House gave the bill final approval Thursday on a vote of 110-36.

The measure brings Missouri into compliance with federal restrictions on purchases with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families electronic cash benefit cards.

It also prohibits welfare recipients from using the cash benefits for any merchandise marketed exclusively for adults, and increases the penalties for people convicted of spending their benefits improperly.

Supporters contend the measure will prevent fraud and abuse in the welfare system. Opponents say it places unnecessary restrictions on where people can buy food.