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Loophole Allows People on Government Assistance to Use Taxpayer Money on Strippers

Updated: Friday, October 18 2013, 10:44 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Your tax dollars spent on booze and exotic dancers. After finding some people on welfare using their assistance for more than necessities, Tennessee lawmakers passed a law to stop it. Tonight, FOX17 NEWS is learning that law may not have the teeth lawmakers intended. EBT cards being misused in Tennessee was exposed through a Watchdog.com article. The report revealed that strip clubs and tobacco businesses were accepting the welfare money in places like Knoxville. It's no laughing matter for the state and federal government. State lawmakers like Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna) supported a bill to put a stop to the EBT card misuse.

The new law prohibits any person or business from accepting EBT cards on goods in liquor stores, casinos or strip clubs. Many of the local strip clubs FOX17 called would not tell us whether they accept EBT cards. According to Representative Stark, a violation of the bill will result in fines up to $5000, but not for those trying to use them. The Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services released a statement saying it will focus on being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and not support the misuse of benefits.

The bill does not go into effect until July 1 of next year. Lawmakers want to give EBT card prohibited establishments plenty of time to understand and be aware of the new legislation.

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