Posted at: 06/18/2013 4:46 PM
Updated at: 06/18/2013 8:53 PM
By: WNYT Staff
ALBANY - The New York Senate is acting on legislation that will limit where and what kind of things people can use their welfare money.
This legislation cites a previous WNYT report as part of the justification for the bill.
Supporters say people are using their electronic benefit transfer cards, or EBT’s, to get cash to buy things like tobacco, alcohol, and lottery tickets when it's supposed to be for things like soap and school supplies.
Authorities say the abuse happens around the state.
“We found that many people were getting their EBT cards and getting cash and buying drugs with it. And that just appalled us that they were able to use the cards any way they wanted to. And I think that's what started District Attorney Kate Hogan to push for this bill. I think it's a good first step,” said Warren County Sheriff Bud York.
Warren County has an investigator focusing on welfare fraud.
The Public Assistance Integrity Act would limit what EBT cards can be used for, and where they can be used.