OLYMPIA, Wash. — State. Sen. Mike Carrell of Lakewood is sponsoring a bill to prevent the use of Washington’s welfare cash cards from being used at strip clubs, tattoo parlors, gun shops and taverns.
Carrell says an investigation by Seattle TV station KING found the benefit cards are being misused.
The station earlier found that about $2 million in welfare cash was withdrawn in one year at casinos. The Department of Social and Health Services asked casinos to block the use of the cards at their ATMs. Most have complied. Gambling with welfare cash is illegal.
Now, KING has found the welfare benefits – known as EBT cards – are being cashed at strip clubs and sex shops. DSHS Secretary Susan Dreyfus agrees it’s time to tighten restrictions.