Louisianians who once used their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, known as the Louisiana Purchase card, at strip clubs, liquor stores and lingerie shops will now be prohibited from doing so after Gov. Bobby Jindal signs legislation that the Louisiana legislature approved today.
Welfare beneficiaries can no longer use their EBT cards at the following list of establishments:
Any establishment where persons under age 18 are not permitted
Any retail establishment that provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment purposes or adult bookstores or adult paraphernalia and any sexually oriented business
Any nail salon
Any tattoo, piercing, or commercial body art facility
Any jewelry storeAny amusement or video arcadeAny bail bonds companyAny nightclub, bar, tavern, or saloon
Any cruise ship and any psychic business
The bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Broadwater (R-Hammond), received unanimous approval by both the state House and state Senate. And the penalties for violators of the new law are not pretty. For first time offenders, their welfare benefits will be suspended for a year. Second time offenders will see their benefits suspended for two years and a third violation will keep the offender from ever receiving welfare again.
And businesses that violate the new regulation will also be punished with a fine for first time offenders set at $500, $1,000 for second time offenders and $2,500 for any other additional offenses by the business.
The new law comes as NOLA.com recently reported that the Kiss My Lingerie shop in Gonzales, La. had been allowing its customers to pay for their adult purchases with the EBT card.
Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) said there are less than 10,000 people in the state who get the cash benefits from the EBT card. However, there are approximately $835,000 people who use their EBT card solely for food benefits, according to DCFS.