DCFS expands list of banned EBT card purchases, offenders will be punished

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Lingerie and strip clubs are now on the banned list of approved EBT Card purchases.

The Department of Children and Family Services issued the Emergency Rule late Thursday afternoon.

It also bans people who get federal assistance from using those funds at nail salons and jewelry stores.

Secretary Suzy Sonnier says this rule will not affect families who currently use the program as intended, which is to provide "food, shelter, and clothing."

The other banned items on the list include tattoo, piercing or commercial body art facility, amusement or video arcade, bail bonds company, cruise ships, psychic business, and any establishment where persons under the age of 18 are not permitted.

State Representative Chris Broadwater is also working with DCFS to create new legislation to support the rule and allow DCFS to fine retailers who are not following the proper guidelines.

"My constituents raised some concerns about where cash benefits are being used," says Rep. Broadwater. "By working with DCFS to craft necessary legislation, I hope that we can meet the spirit of intent of the program while also ensuring that state and federal tax dollars are being used appropriately."

The department also recently banned liquor stores, gaming establishments, adult entertainment busineses, tobacco products, and lottery tickets.

Recipients who violate the rule will have their benefits stopped for 12 months on the first offense, 24 months on the second offense, and permanently on the third offense. DCFS will rely on retailers and the public to report suspected fraud as well as randomly review monthly transactions for possible use at prohibited locations.

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