A battle has been brewing between the Massachusetts Legislature and the office of Governor Deval Patrick over the issue of EBT Card usage.
Last week the Massachusetts House of Representatives rejected the governor’s veto concerning the use of EBT cards. Initially, the House passed new rules concerning usage of the cards. As part of an amendment to the state budget for the current fiscal year, the legislature banned EBT card use at places such as tattoo parlors, gun shops, and casinos.
While the governor did not veto language that prohibited the use of the cards at certain shops, he did veto the prohibited items, arguing that it would be easier to enforce a ban on stores rather than individual purchases. Also, the governor did not jewelry stores and nail salons on the list of banned stores.
Joining 151 other members of the House in voting against the veto was Wrentham's Representative Dan Winslow whose vote indicated that he did not agree with Governor Patrick on the issue. Winslow sees this as a chance to reduce fraud among card users.
“I think that this is an issue that requites compassion on both side,” Winslow said. “The challenge is that anytime someone tries to reduce fraud they are portrayed as anti-poor or heartless and that is not the case."
Currently, the issue is awaiting either the governor's signature or a second veto. If the governor chooses to veto the proposal again, the restrictions can become law with a third veto override.
We at Patch want to know where you stand on the issue. Should EBT card uses be banned from purchasing items such as guns and tattoos with their cards or is there a better way to regulate card usage? Can rules concerning banned items even be enforced? Sound off in the comments and vote in the poll!