Ball Urges Legislation To Prevent Welfare Being Used For Illicit Purchases

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State Sen. Greg Ball (R,C,I - Patterson) is joining the effort to urge the assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act. Photo Credit: File Photo

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- State Sen. Greg Ball (R,C,I - Patterson) is joining the effort to urge the assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act. 

Ball joined Senate Deputy Majority Leader Tom Libous and other New York State Senators at a press conference this week to urge the assembly passage of PAIA, a concept supported by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his Executive Budget Proposal.

“New Yorkers are always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. But we don’t like seeing taxpayer money being wasted. That’s why I co-sponsored the Public Assistance Integrity Act, which will prohibit welfare recipients from using Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to be spent on items like cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets, and would also prevent the use of EBT cards to make ATM withdrawals from places like liquor stores, casinos and night clubs,” said Ball in a release. “This common-sense bill would ensure that families in need get the temporary support they require, while also protecting hard-working taxpayers from abuse.”

Public Assistance can legally be spent at liquor stores, casinos, strip clubs, or for beer and cigarettes, according to New York State Law. The PAIA legislation would go further than Gov. Cuomo’s proposal to prevent the purchases and comply with federal mandates, representatives said.

On Tuesday, the Senate moved to pass the bill, which has died in the Assembly for two consecutive years after passing overwhelmingly in the Senate each time, according to the release. 

“This type of law is not intended to embarrass or humiliate people in need. I understand that times are tough. However, we need to be sure that this money is being used for its intended purpose,” said Ball. “Taxes are killing this state. This is one way to not only tighten the belt and save millions of dollars, but get addicts the help they need.”

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