The days of using your welfare card to make it rain on the fine ladies dancing on the pole, and then getting yourself some booze, will soon be a thing of the past.
That is, if House Bill 701 becomes a law.
You're just going to have to get a second or third job to get yourself a lap dance now, guy.
On Wednesday, Florida's House Healthy Families Subcommittee approved Republican state Rep. Jimmie Smith's bill that will prohibit those receiving government assistance from using their EBT (electronic benefits) cards at "certain locations for certain activities."
Basically, you won't be able to use your EBT card for anything but food and milk.
If approved by the full Legislature, the bill would make it illegal to use the cards at strip clubs, liquor stores, gun stores, and casinos.
According to Smith, the law is necessary to keep the state from losing out on getting federal public assistance.
"It has always been my agenda to make sure that if anybody is going to use tax dollars, it's used to help," Smith said of the bill. "In that, not only are we in compliance with the federal government but our tax dollars will be used to help people who really need help -- and not for personal entertainment."
Of course, this is the same Jimmie Smith who once sponsored a bill requiring people to pass a drug test to receive government assistance. So there's that.
So, to recap things so far: If the Florida Legislature has its way, poor people won't be getting medical insurance and won't be able to go to the titty bar.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.