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Kansas to Bar Welfare Recipients from Spending Money on Leisure

© Flickr / Zdenko ZivkovicRoulette wheel in Casino
Roulette wheel in Casino - Sputnik International
A new social services bill intends to ban Kansas welfare recipients from spending money on leisure.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A new social services bill intends to ban welfare recipients of the US state of Kansas from spending money on leisure activities and limit ATM withdrawals to $25 per day.

The bill was passed by Kansas legislature last Wednesday. According to the local media, state governor Sam Brownback may sign it by the end of this week.

"No TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] cash assistance shall be used in any retail liquor store, casino, gaming establishment, jewelry store … video arcade, movie theater, swimming pool, cruise ship, theme park," House Bill 2258 reads, adding that TANF cash assistance transactions for cash withdrawals from ATMs should be limited to one transaction of no more than $25 a day.

Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland - Sputnik International
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According to its authors, the measure is aimed to make people spend public assistance more responsibly and prompt welfare recipients to look for jobs.

"We're trying to make sure those benefits are used the way they were intended," Senator Michael O'Donnell, a Wichita Republican who led advocacy for the bill told the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Opponents of the bill stress that the $25 dollar limit will effectively mean just $20 as most of the ATMs do not deal in $5 bills.

Kansas is not the only state trying to impose strict welfare spending rules. Earlier in April, Rick Brattin, a Republican state representative in Missouri has introduced House Bill 813 prohibiting food-stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy "cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak."

According to the Office of Family Assistance, on an average month in 2014 some 3,461,000 families in the United States were receiving TANF payments.

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