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New Va. law bans using welfare on alcohol, tattoos, gambling or strippers

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–Social Services announced Friday, that come Monday, Virginians can no longer use welfare money at ABC stores, tattoo shops, strip-clubs or bingo halls.

Legislators approved an amendment to the Virginia code §63.2-621, restricting the use of TANF electronic benefit cards at certain retail establishments and for the purchase of certain products.

TANF cards may not be used:

• To purchase lottery tickets, alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or sexually explicit materials; or

• In ABC stores, tattoo or body-piercing businesses, businesses that provide adult-oriented entertainment in which performers appear at least partially nude, or in places in which wagering or gaming, such as bingo, is conducted.

The press release from Social Services also emphasized personal responsibility, and that participants are expected to engage in work activities such as job search, job skills training, work experience, job readiness training unless they have a condition which precludes their participation in a work activity.