The Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, has signed a new bill into state law that places restrictions on what welfare recipients can purchase with cash assistance – including movie tickets, liquor and tattoos. Advocates of the bill say it will provide more accountability for taxpayer money, but will it actually improve the conditions of the poor?

Sanford Schram, professor of political science at Hunter College, says new state laws that place restrictions on welfare recipients mark the poor as deviant and are designed to keep them from receiving welfare.