WLP Executive Director on Welfare Policy

Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project, was quoted in this AP article about a bill in the Pennsylvania legislature that would ban alcohol purchases with cash assistance cards. The bill passed the state House last week and is headed for the Senate.

The bill would bar the 619 state liquor stores and private beer distributors from accepting the [public welfare] department’s electronic benefit cards.

“It perpetuates the stereotype that women on welfare are irresponsible and immoral and can’t make appropriate decisions,” said Carol Tracy, executive director of the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia.

The bill only serves to stigmatize those who receive cash assistance in Pennsylvania. It also wouldn’t prevent any recipient from buying alcohol; as the article notes, recipients can simply withdraw cash from an ATM with their card and use that to buy alcohol. This measure is both harmful and unnecessary.


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The Women's Law Project creates a more just and equitable society by advancing the rights and status of all women throughout their lives. To this end, we engage in high-impact litigation, advocacy, and education.
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