- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to bar people who get public assistance from using their cash cards at casinos, liquor stores and strip clubs.

The House voted 66-1 to pass the legislation Thursday.

Rep. Arthur Corvese, a North Providence Democrat, introduced it after similar Republican-sponsored measures failed in previous years.

He says the legislation would temporarily cut food assistance for those who improperly use electronic benefit transfer cards.

It would also make it a crime for affected store owners to accept EBT payments.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states have restrictions on how people can use welfare benefits.

Providence Democratic Rep. Edith Ajello was the lone vote against the bill. She agrees with the prohibitions but not the penalties.

A similar bill is in the Senate.

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