Mark Cayer (letter, April 30), the public and politicians are misinformed. There has been no welfare reform.

An EBT-TANF card is a debit card. There is an ATM within a mile of every jail and grocery store in the state. Those with an EBT-TANF card can go to the ATM on Court Street in Auburn, withdraw money, and in 5 minutes bail a friend out of jail, go to a grocery store to buy a 12-pack of beer and a pack of cigarettes to consume on the way to the casino in Oxford.

Nearly every grocery store has an ATM. People can’t use their EBT-TANF card with the cashier to buy beer or cigarettes or to bail someone out of jail. They just go to an ATM.

EBT-food cannot buy cigarettes or alcohol or get money back as change — never could, never will.

Even the photo ID idea is a misconception. At most stores, it is swiped by the patron just like a credit card — the photos aren’t checked.

The Legislature spent two years bickering over welfare reform and the only change is the location where money can be withdrawn.

The state will lose the ability to follow how the money is being spent because all they will know is the location of the ATM and the amount withdrawn. All bail, tobacco and alcohol transactions will be done in cash.

How much time and money was wasted so politicians could have that “feel good” feeling.

Robert Martel, Lewiston

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