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Reps say no smokes, lottery tickets with welfare cash

Representatives decided Minnesota welfare recipients should be prohibited from using state-funded cash assistance to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets.

House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, and others said on Monday that taxpayer dollars that go toward welfare should not be spent on those products.

Seifert's amendment to a welfare and child assistance bill passed 101-28. The full bill then was passed by the House.

Democrats who opposed the amendment said it was a partisan "gotcha" vote and that more should be done to help Minnesotans avoid needing welfare.