ALBANY - New York's Senate is voting to prohibit the use of welfare debit cards to buy cigarettes, alcohol, gambling and strip clubs.
Republican Sen. Thomas Libous say New York must restrict the spending to conform to federal law, which will require states to restrict how the cash portion of social services is spent.
Ten states already do. Washington bans purchases of alcohol, tobacco, gambling, lottery tickets, and adult entertainment while Indiana bans the purchase of guns, gambling and alcohol using social services.
Libous says that if New York doesn't act to restrict spending using welfare cash that the state could lose $125 million in federal funding tied to the federal initiative.
The Senate bill was supported Tuesday by most Democrats. Now it goes to the Democrat-led Assembly.