TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Public-assistance recipients may no longer use food stamps to purchase liquor or visit strip clubs and gambling venues, should a HB 701 continue making its way through the Florida Legislature.

A House subcommittee Wednesday approved the bill, which would bar public-assistance recipients from using their electronic benefit (EBT) cards at such establishments, the News Service of Florida reported.

Sponsor Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness, said lawmakers need to approve the bill to comply with federal law or risk losing public-assistance money. “We are simply following the lead of the federal government,” Smith told the Healthy Families Subcommittee, which voted 9-2 to approve the measure.

The bill would affect people who receive food or cash assistance on what are known as “electronic benefits transaction” cards, which are similar to credit cards or debit cards.

The bill is next scheduled to go to the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee.

(TM and © 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and © 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)


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