May 15, 2015 5:21 PM

Landrigan: Senate approves further restrictions on EBT card use

CONCORD - The N.H. Senate approved further restrictions on the use of EBT cards for New Hampshire citizens getting public assistance.

The proposal would outlaw recipients from taking EBT cards and converting them into cash to buy tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, guns or adult entertainment.

"This bill is meant to help prevent individuals from using EBT cards and abusing them and best provide for people who truly need this service," said Sen. Sharon Carson, R-Londondery.

But critics maintain the bill is unenforceable as there is no way for vendors or state health officials to know whether someone using cash got it from using an EBT card, from wages or a gift.

"So this is unfair, it is unenforceable and it is unnecessary," said Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord.

The Department of Health and Human Services has also informed the Legislature the bill contains no money to enforce the law.

This legislation is a follow-up to a state law which two years ago placed EBT restrictions similar to those already covered under federal law.

This bill now heads to the state House of Representatives to decide whether it will accept Senate amendments to it (HB 219).


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