Package Of Welfare Reform Bills Passed
The Alabama Senate passes a package of welfare reform bills in a late evening session last night. The package consisted of five bills that will now go to the House for their consideration. SB116 would prohibit welfare recipients from spending public assistance benefits on alcohol or tobacco, and at strip clubs or gambling facilities. SB63 allows for drug testing of welfare applicants who have a prior drug conviction. SB87 would require able-bodied, adult food stamp recipients - who do not have dependants – to participate in at least 20 hours per week of work, job training or community service…and to start within three months of obtaining benefits. SB114 makes it a crime to defraud many state and federal assistance programs. And SB115 would require welfare applicants to apply for at least three jobs before beginning benefits. Senator Trip Pittman who sponsored one of the bills said that with federal spending out of control, the legislature has an obligation to taxpayers to protect the programs that are design to help those who are genuinely in need.