Restrictions on use of welfare heading to Jindal

Legislation heading to Gov. Bobby Jindal would prohibit Louisiana welfare recipients from using those benefits at tattoo parlors, sex shops, casinos and arcades, among other places of “amusement.”

The House and Senate agreed to a version of House Bill 1176 on Monday -- the final day of the 2014 regular session -- that applies to use of assistance through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and electronic benefits transfer cards.

The state Department of Children and Family Services adopted the new regulations as emergency rules earlier this year. The legislation, once Jindal signs, will put the rules into law.

Welfare recipients who violate the new regulations would stop receiving assistance for a year on the first offense. That goes up to two years for a second offense, and a third offense would permanently strip benefits.

Meanwhile restricted businesses that accept benefits would face $500 fines on the first violation, $1,000 the second time and $2,500 for any additional offense.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of the Louisiana Legislature, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .