Assemblyman John Ceretto, RC-I-Lewiston, is calling on the Assembly to pass the Public Assistance Integrity Act, which protects families in need by preventing electronic benefit transfer cards from being used for liquor and lap dances. He said the Assembly must act swiftly on this legislation, which has already been passed by the Senate, before session ends, because federal funding for the state's public assistance programs is on the line.
President Obama has tied federal funding to these reforms and, if they are not passed, New York's public assistance programs will lose $120 million in federal funding.
"It is outrageous that taxpayer dollars dedicated to helping families in need gets used for liquor and lap dances," Ceretto said. "By passing this common-sense legislation, we ensure that public assistance money is only used on the basic needs for which it was intended. In addition, we will lose $120 million in federal funding if we do not pass this and implement it. We need to protect this critical funding. The Assembly must vote on this legislation before session ends to protect families in need across New York."
The Public Assistance Integrity Act was passed by the Senate this week, but is being blocked in the Assembly. Ceretto said public assistance money is supposed to be used to feed families in need and keep them afloat, not for entertainment.