State Capitol News
Wed February 10, 2010
State representative hopes to ban food stamp users from buying cigarettes and alcohol
Phoenix, AZ – Antenori is sponsoring legislation which would make any form of
public assistance off limits to those who smoke or drink. He said
the purpose of the bill is not to punish people.
(If you don't have enough money to buy your own food to exist for
your own sustenance, and you need someone, some other hardworking
taxpayer that's out there and working and paying taxes to
subsidize your food, then you shouldn't have the luxury, at the
expense of some other taxpayer, to go out and enjoy the niceties
As crafted, his measure would be much self-enforcing: Anyone
applying for food stamps, free health care or other programs
would have to sign an affidavit agreeing to the restrictions. But
Antenori said welfare recipients will know someone is watching.
(People will put $100 worth of food up on the register, run their
EBT food stamp card through, and then throw two big jugs of booze
and a carton of cigarettes and pull $100 out of the pocket to buy
booze and cigarettes, if you see that, you call a 1-800 number
and notify somebody. And we'll have it investigated.)
The bill doesn't stop at alcohol and tobacco. It also would bar
welfare recipients from buying a car worth more than $5,000, a TV
for more than $300 or having a cell phone unless they don't have
a home phone. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.