Nixon signs Missouri bill dealing with welfare benefits - KCTV5

Nixon signs Missouri bill dealing with welfare benefits

Posted: Updated:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Monday prohibiting welfare recipients from using those funds at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs.

The newly signed law restricts the use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash benefits at such businesses, as well as for items marketed solely for adults. Penalties for misusing public assistance funds also will increase.

Nixon, a Democrat, said the restrictions will help protect taxpayers.

"By strengthening existing protections for taxpayers and children, and cracking down on those who misuse public funds, this bill will help ensure these programs continue to provide temporary support for needy families and children in a proper and accountable way," Nixon said.

Missouri needed to enact welfare spending restrictions this year to comply with federal guidelines or risk losing 5 percent of the program's funding. The newly approved law takes effect Aug. 28.

Welfare cash benefits are distributed to recipients through electronic benefit transfer cards that operate similar to credit cards, and are also used to access federal food stamp benefits.

The legislation bars the use of the cards at the prohibited locations. The measure passed the Senate 33-0 and House 110-36.

Supporters in the Legislature said the measure would help to prevent fraud and abuse in the welfare system.

House Democrats, many of whom opposed the legislation, said it limits where people can shop and noted that some liquor stores also sell food. The restrictions apply to businesses that "exclusively or primarily" sell liquor.

In addition to restrictions on where benefits can be used, the measure also deals with penalties for misuse.

Recipients who repeatedly spend benefits improperly would face steeper criminal penalties. Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to spend benefits on prohibited items with a face value of less than $500, with a maximum punishment of up to one year in jail. Under the signed law, a second violation now will be a felony that carries a prison sentence of up to four years.

Business owners that sell prohibited items to welfare recipients will also face fines, ranging from up to $500 for the initial offense, between $500 and $1,000 for the second instance and at least $1,000 after that.

The legislation requires state officials to submit a report by Dec. 1 examining analytical modeling methods for detecting fraud. The report to lawmakers and Nixon is to detail possible benefits, limitations and the estimated costs for adopting analytical modeling-based methods.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Missouri man charged with felony after alleged racial slur

    Thursday, January 29 2015 11:44 PM EST2015-01-30 04:44:07 GMT
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language.More >
    A 65-year-old Maryville man is charged with felony assault after he allegedly confronted a black server as she served him breakfast. The man is accused of assaulting her and using racially insensitive language. More >
  • Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Surveillance video captures smash and grab at Independence home

    Thursday, May 25 2017 11:19 PM EDT2017-05-26 03:19:33 GMT
    Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)Brian Graham faces burglary and theft charges, while David Sherrill is charged with burglary and receiving stolen property. (Submitted)

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >

    Thieves smashed their way inside an Independence man's home as his crystal-clear surveillance cameras rolled.  

    More >
  • 2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    2 shooting victims found in vehicle near 104th, Holmes

    Thursday, May 25 2017 6:14 PM EDT2017-05-25 22:14:44 GMT
    Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)Chopper 5 video of the crime scene. (KCTV5)

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >

    Police are investigating a double-shooting at 104th Street and Holmes.  One person is fighting for their life, while the second victim suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.  This is the third double-shooting in Kansas City in the past 24 hours.  This is a developing story. Stay tuned to KCTV5 News for more. 

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.