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On welfare? Antenori says no booze for you

Tucson Republican: Those getting assistance don't deserve 'niceties' in life

State Rep. Frank Antenori thinks you shouldn't be able to buy alcohol or tobacco if you're on welfare.

And if you're car shopping, don't be looking at a flashy ride - no vehicles valued at more than $5,000. And no premium movie channels, either.

The Tucson Republican is sponsoring a bill that would cut people off from public assistance if they break these rules, reports Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services. Co-sponsors of HB 2770 include fellow Southern Arizona Republicans David W. Stevens, David Gowan and Al Melvin.

"If you've got 80 bucks to buy a gallon of booze and two cartons of cigarettes, then why the heck are we paying for your food? Somebody's priorities are screwed up."

But a such a law wouldn't address the underlying problem, said Terri Patt-Smith, associate director with Interfaith Community Services.

"Most of our clients are losing their cars, not driving nice ones. And TV may be their only source of entertainment."

It also wouldn't address the underlying problem, she said.

"These people need to learn how to budget. They need financial literacy. Let's mandate that.

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"They'll say 'Well, I paid the cable bill.' Then we have to explain that if they don't pay their electric bill, cable won't matter."

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1 comment on this story

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Feb 10, 2010, 9:47 pm
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The niceties, everyone desverves niceness :)

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