Violations would endanger federal funds
The state of New Mexico has ordered that welfare recipients cannot use their cash assistance cards at casinos, liquor stores and strip clubs.
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the rule took effect March 31 when it was authorized by Governor Susana Martinez and the state Human Services Department.
The Associated Press reports that the state House of Representatives approved a bill with the same restrictions in 2015, but the Senate failed to vote on it. Human Services Department spokesman Matt Kennicott says the administration decided to enact its own rule rather than seek legislative action.
A 2012 federal law requires states to prevent the use of welfare cards at gambling establishments, liquor stores and strip clubs or face a loss of federal welfare dollars.