Yesterday, the State Senate passed a measure that would bar the use of Electronic Cash Benefit cards used by welfare recipients in New York State in purchases of items such as cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets, as well as cash withdrawals from ATMs in strip clubs or bars.

This is the third year in a row that Senate Republicans have passed this common-sense reform.  Each of the last three years, Sheldon Silver and Assembly Democrats have blocked the bill.

“Sheldon Silver continues to lead the Democratic Culture of Corruption that has permitted the odious use of welfare money at strip clubs and bars for years, just as he allowed serial sex abusers of women to remain in the State Assembly,” said NYGOP Chair Ed Cox.

“I commend Senator Tom Libous for his leadership and the entire Republican Conference for their support of this important welfare fraud reform initiative.

“New York’s less fortunate deserve a safety net, and New York’s taxpayers deserve an assurance that their money is used only for essential items.”