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Legislation aimed at preventing Michigan welfare recipients from withdrawing taxpayer money from ATM machines while at casinos has passed the Senate.

The bill passed unanimously Tuesday and advances to the House. Michigan uses a debit or “bridge” card to deliver food and cash benefits to public assistance recipients. Many automatic teller machines accept the card to withdraw cash benefits.

Republican Sen. Bill Hardiman of Kentwood wants the state to block access at casinos. He said most people would agree that gambling with taxpayer dollars “isn’t an appropriate use.”

Hardiman said the state has determined about $87,000 in assistance funding was withdrawn at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino within a recent one-year period.

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