SECTION 1. Subsection (a) of section 5I of chapter 18 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Access device”, the following definition:
“Border state”, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island or Vermont.
SECTION 2. Said section 5I of said chapter 18 is hereby further amended by inserting after subsection (b) the following subsection:-
(b ½) No person shall knowingly use direct cash assistance funds held on an electronic benefit transfer card or access device in a state other than the commonwealth or a border state. The department shall track, on a monthly basis, the usage of direct cash assistance funds in violation of this subsection. The department shall immediately contact each recipient whose electronic benefit transfer card or access device has been used in violation of this subsection, and shall investigate the violation accordingly.
SECTION 3. Any eligible recipient of direct cash assistance who knowingly uses direct cash assistance funds held on an electronic benefit transfer card or access device in a state other than the commonwealth or a border state shall be reminded of the prohibition and penalties on out of state spending for the first offense and, for the second offense, shall be disqualified from the direct cash assistance program for a period of one month and, for the third offense, shall be disqualified from the direct cash assistance program for six months; provided, however, that the department shall only disqualify an eligible recipient after notice and a hearing pursuant to section 30A.
SECTION 4. The department of transitional assistance shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the requirements of this act."
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