Senate approves legislation to curb Bridge Card abuse

For Immediate Release    
Oct. 22, 2013   

Contact: Dan Papineau  
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LANSING, Mich.—The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a package of legislation aimed at curbing Bridge Card abuse in Michigan.

Senate Bills 434-436 and 554-556, sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, prevent any ATM located in a casino, liquor store or strip club from dispensing cash from a Bridge Card.

The six-bill package will also prohibit cash withdrawals at horse racing tracks and place a provision on a liquor store’s license to prohibit the use of a Bridge Card at the point of sale. Under this change a liquor license would be revoked if a liquor store does not comply with the policy. Bridge Cards will still be accepted at grocery stores.

“These much-needed reforms will go a long way in protecting Michigan taxpayers,” said Brandenburg, R-Harrison Township. “Bridge Cards should be temporary and should only be used to buy basic necessities.”

The federal government is tying future Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to improved oversight of how Bridge Cards are used. As much as $40 million in federal funds are in jeopardy if reforms are not passed to curtail Bridge Card abuse.

The bill package now moves to the Michigan House for further consideration.