Beacon applauds welfare reform

February 25, 2013 5:52PM

Statement from the Beacon Center on Senate passage of SB244: The Tennessee State Senate on Monday evening passed legislation to curb welfare abuse after the Beacon Center uncovered questionable uses of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards in places such as strip clubs and liquor stores in large cities across the state. “We applaud Sen. Jim Tracy and his colleagues for taking welfare abuse seriously and acting quickly to curb the abuse of EBT cards,” said Beacon CEO Justin Owen. The bill, SB244, passed unanimously on the Senate floor. It will now be heard in a House subcommittee. The bill places the strictest possible limitations on the use of EBT cards and also requires the state Department of Human Services to add further restrictions as soon as allowed by federal law. In addition to the consequences for recipients who abuse the program, establishments who accept EBT cards in violation of the law face severe penalties. “This measure will further protect taxpayers and ensure that welfare benefits are used for their intended purpose—to help the children of the families on the program,” concluded Owen.