Kansas Governor To Sign Bill That Adds New Welfare Restrictions

| by Ethan Brown
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Republican Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas is expected to sign a bill on Thursday (April 16) that will add additional regulations to state residents who receive welfare or unemployment benefits.

The law is set to commence on July 1 and will affect how much money welfare recipients can withdraw per day, limited to $25, and where the money can and cannot be spent.

Some of the items that are now banned from being purchased include alcohol, tobacco products, lottery tickets, sporting events, tickets to concerts or other forms of entertainment and adult related materials, ABC News reported.

Casinos, liquor stores, tattoo parlors, jewelry stores, spas, body piercing parlors, massage parlors, nail salons, psychics, arcades, cruise ships and movie theaters are just some of the places that benefits will be rejected under the new legislation.

In an interview earlier this week with The Associated Press, Brownback defended the law from critics, who say that it is too strict and demoralizes those who receive some type of government assistance.

“We want to get people off of public assistance and into private-sector employment, and we’ve had a lot of success with that,” Brownback said.

Kansas legislators state that these reforms were needed to cut down on fraud and reckless spending by welfare recipients. From July 2014 to February of this year, the Kansas Department for Children and Families recovered $199,000 from 81 different cases of fraud throughout the state, The Associated Press reported.

This is not the first time that Brownback and state lawmakers have placed restrictions on benefit recipients. In April 2013, the Governor signed legislation that created mandatory drug testing for those who received welfare or unemployment benefits. The bill allowed the Kansas Department for Children and Families to “require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs. That could be triggered by a person’s demeanor, missed appointments or police records,” The Wichita Eagle reported.

You can read the entire text of the law here.

Sources: ABC News, The Wichita Eagle, The Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report, kslegislature.org 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore, Breitbart.com