- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine lawmakers have dealt the final blow to Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to ban the use of electronic benefit transfer cards to buy alcohol, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

The House and Senate failed to agree Wednesday on how to amend the bill, killing the proposal.

The Senate backed an amended version that would ban the use of EBT cards for those products, but reduce the proposed penalties for offenders.

The House voted Tuesday to expand current law, which prohibits EBT cards at liquor stores, strip clubs and casinos, to also include smoke shops.

Two of LePage’s other welfare bills also failed in the Legislature. A third was amended to direct officials to study out-of-state EBT card use.

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