AL lawmakers may vote on 3 welfare bills - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AL lawmakers may vote on 3 welfare bills

Posted: Updated:
Senator Arthur Orr Senator Arthur Orr
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Decatur Police respond to shooting

    Decatur Police respond to shooting

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:56:01 GMT
    Decatur Police responded the scene of a shooting.It happened the 800 block of Tammy Road. According to Decatur Police, one man and one woman were shot.More >>
    Decatur Police responded the scene of a shooting.It happened the 800 block of Tammy Road. According to Decatur Police, one man and one woman were shot.More >>
  • Music store owner makes guitars gently weep

    Music store owner makes guitars gently weep

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:09:34 GMT
    People say when you walk into T Shepards' discount music on Oakwood Avenue, you are hit, immediately with a vibe telling you this is an unusual store. They sell just about everything dealing with string instruments, and Tom also mends instruments resulting in broken dreams.More >>
    People say when you walk into T Shepards' discount music on Oakwood Avenue, you are hit, immediately with a vibe telling you this is an unusual store. They sell just about everything dealing with string instruments, and Tom also mends instruments resulting in broken dreams.More >>
  • Retired teacher claims student's grades altered to passing

    Retired teacher claims student's grades altered to passing

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 23:25:17 GMT
    Allegations of grade-changing and cheating. A former Huntsville City School teacher is making those claims. The retired teacher said at least one of her former student's grades were altered in order for the student to pass.More >>
    Allegations of grade-changing and cheating. A former Huntsville City School teacher is making those claims. The retired teacher said at least one of her former student's grades were altered in order for the student to pass.More >>
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

On the final day of the Alabama legislative session, lawmakers will likely take up three bills involving welfare benefits. All of the bills have passed through the Senate and await votes from the Alabama House of Representatives.

Senator Arthur Orr sponsored two of the bills. One would limit what people could buy with public assistance money. EBT cards would not be able to be used to buy liquor or cigarettes. Recipients would also not be able to use them in casinos, tattoo parlors, and adult entertainment businesses.

The bill would also prevent people from using the cards to pay for psychic services. The first time someone was caught using the card for any of those items, they would lose eligibility for EBT and state cash benefits for a month. The second time, they would lose eligibility for three months. The third time could mean they would ineligible for state public assistance in Alabama permanently.

"If the adults are spending it on liquor and cigarettes, it's certainly not going to the children. So they're literally taking the children's milk money and spending it things they ought not be spending it on, and we don't have an enforcement provision in our state law for this," Orr said.

Orr also sponsored a bill that would not only go after people who deceive to get benefits, but also those who help them do it. That could be health care providers who falsify or unnecessarily hike Medicaid claims. Housing providers who help unqualified people get section eight housing would also be penalized.

"It includes Medicaid. It includes public housing. It includes SNAP benefits or TANF benefits. That's welfare and food stamps. So, any government benefit that someone is receiving, if they're defrauding the government, this gives prosecutors more tools to crack down on such fraudulent activities," Orr said.

Orr is also the co-sponsor of a bill that would allow drug testing of some welfare recipients. The bill would enable DHR officials to test welfare applicants if they have a reasonable suspicion the applicant has drug issues. It would also deny or halt benefits to anyone convicted of a felony drug charge.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1414 North Memorial Parkway
Huntsville, AL 35801
256-533-4848

WAFF Is a Proud Member
of the Raycom Family of Stations


FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WAFF. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.