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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 10, 2017 04:59 PM
From: Senator Michele Brooks
To: All Senate members
Subject: Prohibiting the Use of EBT Cards to Purchase Tobacco
After looking into this issue for the past several months, I plan on introducing legislation that would amend the Human Services Code to prohibit the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards to purchase tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia within the Commonwealth.

Currently, an individual who is receiving public assistance funds may use an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card to purchase tobacco and tobacco products at various locations throughout the state. This legislation would prohibit the purchase of these items with an EBT card. The Human Services Code already prohibits the purchase of alcohol with EBT cards and my legislation would add all tobacco and tobacco products to the list of prohibitions.

During these difficult economic times, it is essential that we scrutinize how money is being spent in our state and reduce abuse of funds and fraudulent behavior. As you will recall, I have already circulated a co-sponsor memo requiring photos on EBT cards. This legislation is just a step to ensuring that taxpayer money is being used appropriately as well as helping families to receive necessary services for their health and well-being.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB368