US Food Stamp Program
A new bill in Kansas hopes to limit what people can spend their government assistance on. Reuters

A new Kansas bill sponsored by state Republicans hopes to curb the spending habits of welfare recipients.

The bill, House Bill 2258, would restrict Kansas welfare recipients from spending their government assistance to visit swimming pools, go gambling, see movies, go to spas or get tattoos, the Washington Post reported.

House Bill 2258 would also limit the spending at theme parks, dog or horse racing tracks and a "sexually oriented business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, or in any business or retail establishment where minors under age 18 are not permitted."

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, the new bill would additionally cap at 36 months lifetime benefits under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and limit the amount a person can withdraw from TANF accounts from an ATM to $25 (£16.84).

State Senator Michael O'Donnell, a Republican, stated the bill would make people spend government assistance "more responsibly."

"We're trying to make sure those benefits are used the way they were intended," O'Donnell told the Capital-Journal. "This is about prosperity. This is about having a great life."

However, Democrats against the measure argued the bill is unnecessarily discriminatory and will increase the stigma against the needy, CNN reported.

According to the Associated Press, Democratic state Representative Carolyn Bridges said, "I just think we are simply saying to people, 'If you are asking for assistance in this state, you're sort of less than other people and we're going to tell you how and where to spend your money'".

The measure, which was passed by both the Kansas House and Senate last week, is expected to be signed into law by Republican Governor Sam Brownback this week. If signed by Brownback, the new law will go into effect 1 July.