Hassan Signs Bill Limiting Use Of Welfare Benefit Cards

Jul 21, 2015


Credit Marc Nozell / NHPR

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed a bill banning welfare recipients from using their electronic benefit cards at marijuana dispensaries, cigar and smoke shops and tattoo and body piercing shops. It takes effect in 60 days.

More than 12,000 households in New Hampshire receive cash benefits through so-called EBT cards, which function like debit cards. Since last year, state and federal law has banned use of the cards at liquor stores, gambling establishments and adult entertainment venues.

Hassan vetoed a companion bill last week that would've banned people from using cash from the cards on specific items. She said it would be hard to enforce and perpetuate discrimination.

She says the extension of banned locations will strengthen efforts to protect against public assistance fraud or abuse.