This week the Louisiana House is set to debate a bill by Metairie Representative Cameron Henry that would stop the use of public assistance money on non-essentials.  I agree with Representative Henry that we should put an end to mis-use of the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program of FITAP debit cards.
While I believe that individuals and families should be helped during hard financial times I think handing out debit cards like “trick or treat” candy for use on just about anything is wrong!  Sure help the needy but the needy should not be allowed to gamble with my money, drink alcohol or visit strip clubs.

The FITAP benefit is a pre-loaded debit card that currently can be used almost anywhere a credit card can.  Henry’s bill currently would ban FITAP cards at gaming establishments and sexually oriented businesses and will be amended on the House floor to include any purchases of liquor anywhere.  The bill would also prevent the withdrawal of cash at ATM’s that could be used to buy illegal drugs, liquor, gambling and girls.  Rep. Henry says "FITAP cards are to help poor families make ends meet, but mis-use of them is widespread".

I applaud Henry’s efforts and pray that his colleagues will pass House Bill 95 and the State Senate will agree.  Helping the needy is one thing but entertaining them with gambling, liquor, drugs and sex is quite another.

Stop wasting my tax dollars!