McMahon Looks to Ban Out of State EBT Card Use

BOURNE-Republican candidate for the Plymouth/Barnstable State Senate seat Jay McMahon has announced that, if elected, he would work to file legislation to ban the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards out of state.

McMahon argues that welfare is “supposed to be a helping hand, not a hand out,” and that EBT cards shouldn’t be used for out of state vacations or products that are not necessary, such as alcohol or tobacco.

He cited a 2013 study from the Department of Transitional Assistance that 27,000 EBT card recipients used cards in places such as Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. In that report, out of state EBT-related transactions totaled more than $50 million.

As it currently stands, the law dictates that EBT cards can be used in all 50 states. Those in favor of the law now argue that many Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients live near the borders of states that may offer closer and less expensive shopping options than Massachusetts, and that SNAP benefits can also be used when visiting relatives or friends outside of Massachusetts.

McMahon is looking to be elected to the seat left vacant by Vinny deMacedo, who resigned last year.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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