Brindisi proposes legislation to curb Public Benefit abuse at ATMs

By WKTV News

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi says he proposing legislation that would prohibit individuals on public assistance from withdrawing their benefits funds at ATM machines located in casinos, liquor stores or adult entertainment facilities.

"The majority of individuals that receive public assistance are using the benefits responsibly and honestly," Brindisi said. "However, an unscrupulous few abuse the system and waste taxpayer dollars inappropriately. If you're accessing money in a strip club or casino, it's unlikely you're there to go buy food or clothing for your family. My concern is that the money intended to help will only be wasted."

Brindisi said that the intention of public assistance is to help individuals in need to become more self-sufficient by providing access to basic necessities and adequate care for children and families, as well as promoting job preparedness, but that some individuals take advantage of the system.

Public assistance cash benefits are often distributed through Electronic Bank Transfer (EBT) cards and can be withdrawn from most ATM locations.

Currently, no law exists that protects these public assistance benefits from being withdrawn from ATMs in liquor stores, casinos or adult entertainment establishments.

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