Jan 30, 2011 9:23 PM by Jeannette Hynes

Bill would ban public assistance at strip club ATMs

A bill in the Colorado State legislature would prohibit people from using strip club ATMs to withdraw welfare cash benefits. State law already prohibits welfare recipients from withdrawing at ATMs in liquor stores and casinos, but the law hasn't been enforced.

"I don't see any problem with the bill in itself. In fact, I think it adds another layer of accountability to those who are getting public assistance," says Sallie Clark, El Paso County Commissioner and county Department of Human Services liaison.

In committee, Democratic State Representative John Kefalas of Fort Collins was the only "no" vote. He explains cost, enforcement, and perception were key issues for him.

"It did strike me that there was a presumption of guilt of people who receive public assistance and may use an ATM at one of these facilities or nearby," explains Kefalas. "It could cost the state more money."

The committee heard testimony saying public assistance money has been taken out of strip club ATMs, but the total amount documented was around 100 dollars.
Democratic State Senator & Majority Leader John Morse says he'd support the bill, but adds enforcement is a big issue.

"Getting people to spend their money on laundry detergent and light bulbs instead of cigarettes and gambling and lap dances is a huge challenge," says Morse.

House Bill 1058 now moves to full House for debate.



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