California welfare recipients withdraw 12K pounds from strip club ATMs

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Washington, July 2 (ANI): It has emerged that welfare recipients have been withdrawning 12,000 dollars from strip club ATMs in California.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the strip club ATMs have been doling out cash from 2007 to 2009 as part of the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

It emerged that those needy families weren't prohibited from using their state-issued ATM cards there, and some took advantage.

The report comes after an earlier report on 4.8 million dollars in welfare cash being withdrawn since 2007 from ATMs at casinos and poker rooms.

But the days of access to welfare benefits at casinos and strip clubs likely are numbered.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered the department overseeing the program to remove casino and strip club ATMs from the list of permitted welfare disbursement sites.

"We'll take a wide-ranging look and apply some common sense to the list of outlets where cash assistance should not be withdrawn," Fox News quoted Department of Social Services spokeswoman Lizelda Lopez as writing in an e-mail.

She also announced that her department had "taken steps to deactivate ATMs in adult entertainment clubs".

Strip clubs say they have no way of telling that welfare benefits can be accessed from their ATMs. Managers say third parties provide most machines.

Schwarzenegger directed the Department of Social Services to produce a plan to reduce "waste, fraud and abuse" in the welfare program.

He has proposed scrapping the CalWorks program under which the ATM cards are issued, but advocates for the poor against further reducing the state's social safety net, even if it means withdrawing cash at gambling establishments.

"Casinos in some rural places have become like little hubs of the community," Michael Herald, a lobbyist for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, said. (ANI)

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