RI bill to extend limits of EBT card dies in Senate

RI Statehouse

A Rhode Island bill that would prohibit someone who receives cash assistance on an electronic benefit card from using the card on cruise ships, tattoo parlors and in jewelry stores died in the Senate.

An EBT card recipient is prohibited to use the card in a liquor store, casino and in adult entertainment venues.

"The testimony against the bill was if you give them a card they should be able to do anything you want with them and we're not there to modify behavior. I totally disagree with that," said state Sen. David Bates.

The bill cleared the House 61-0.

"It's not right for taxpayer dollars to go toward luxury items like what we sell. They're meant for food, drinks, things to help you survive. Bringing them into a jewelry store is not the right move," said Brandon Solomon of Providence Diamond.

Solomon said he's never seen anyone bring in an EBT card to pay for jewelry.

EBT cards are different from cards issued from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also called SNAP. The SNAP cards are administered federally.