In Massachusetts, politicians have presented reforms for welfare spending. As part of these new changes, welfare recipients are not allowed to spend their government earnings on gambling, alcohol, tattoos or cigarettes.
The reforms are controversial, as individuals do not believe that the government should not be able to tell people how to spend their money. However, since the money is being funded by the government, politicians want to ensure that welfare money is being spent on things that will benefit the recipients and their families.
“If you’re not abusing the program, then you should really have no problem with these reforms,” Shaunna O’Connell, a politician who supports the bill.
On a federal level, a similar legislation has passed. By 2014, all states must ensure that welfare recipients are barred from using their money at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores. Massachusetts is just one of many states that has decided to add its own stipulations, prohibiting lottery tickets and tattoos. In Maine, for example, politicians want to prevent individuals from spending welfare money on pornography and psychic readings.