EBT money won't buy alcohol if bill passes


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It could soon be against the law for people using EBT cash assistance to use that money to buy alcohol.

Florida state senators passed a bill this week that included a measure to ban Electronic Benefits Transfer card users from purchasing alcohol. It's now headed to the House.

People who get food stamps are already blocked from buying alcohol with those.

The measure could impact stores like Winn-Dixie, where people can get the EBT cash and make purchases.

Right now, the cards are used to buy food as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which used to be called food stamps.

The EBT cards are also used for temporary cash assistance or TCA, which provides cash assistance to families with children who meet the technical, income and asset requirements. The children must be under the age of 18 or under age 19 if they're a full-time secondary school (high school) student.

Right now, the TCA money can't be used in liquor stores but can be used to purchase alcohol from grocery stores.

If the bill passes, that will no longer be an option.

Local businesses News4Jax spoke with said they don't see that many customers using TCA money to buy alcohol, so they are confident their businesses won't be affected greatly if the bill passes.