A new Kansas law bans poor families from using state aid money for many non-essential purchases. Do you think that's fair?

What do you think? Do you think it's okay to use cash assistance from the state to:

  • Attend concerts
  • Get tattoos
  • See a psychic
  • Buy lingerie

The new law in Kansas bans all of that, along with several dozen other items.

ABC TV reports that Kansas  Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law on Thursday a measure appears to be the most exhaustive and restrictive law of it's kind.

The governor said:

I think it is important that every chance we get we encourage people to get back into the marketplace, get back into the job market

ABC reports that Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of the advocacy group Kansas Action for Children, said the list has attracted national attention because

It feels mean-spirited. It really seems to make a statement about how we feel about the poor

As of 2012, a federal law is in place that requires states to prevent benefit-card use at liquor stores, gambling establishments or adult-entertainment businesses. (Eg Link Card here in Illinois)

Kansas is not the only state proposing restrictions on how people can spend state aid

  • Massachusetts: prohibits spending on jewelry, bail bonds, or "vacation services."
  • Louisiana: bars card use on cruise ships (also prohibited in Kansas)

In addition to the purchase restrictions the Kansas law requires cash assistance recipients to

  • Work at least 20 hours a week
  • Be looking for work
  • Shortens the lifetime cap on cash assistance to 36 months from 48 months

So, do you think this is good idea, should Illinois give it a try?