At least part of the argument against it was that it placed a burden upon the vendor to not accept the card since the system isn't designed to electronically deny items. Accepting the card (intentionally or otherwise) could result in a "stiff penalty". It also discusses how disabling the card for ATMs in those locations is a manual process of identifying and entering ATM codes and can wind up shutting users from their local ATM just because it's in a location deemed unsuitable.
Are you kidding? The "argument for the opposition" states the following:
The Western Center on Law and Poverty believes that this bill undermines the goals of CalWORKs and the EBT system - to integrate welfare recipients into the world of work and personal responsibility and that it promotes negative stereotypes of low-income people. The Center also believes the bill will bring confusion to vendors, puts unnecessary responsibility on retailers, and will have little or no impact on alcohol and tobacco use. The Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations believes there is no evidence that EBT cards are being used to buy alcohol or tobacco.
It was killed (yes, in committee. What of it?) by lobbyists. Or is anyone mistaking where that opposition comes from? It's like they just wrote a generic boilerplate opposition and all the Dems in the committee voted to kill the bill. Which is almost certainly exactly what happened.
Gotta love this one: "The Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations believes there is no evidence that EBT cards are being used to buy alcohol or tobacco". Hahahahahahaha <breathe> hahahahahaha!
Vendors are already responsible for separating food stamp purchases (or WIC, or whatever the hell they're calling it). It would be no more of a burden for them to program their POS systems to flag non-qualifying ebt items, and not allow them to be included in an ebt card purchase. It would be trivially easy relative to the work they already did to incorporate the various stamps and cards into effect in the first place. This is opposition for the sake of opposition and nothing more. They want to buy political points for "supporting the rights of the poor", no matter how silly and absurd it really is.
I don't know and don't care how significant these reasons are but I'll admit they don't sound as good in an opinion column as "Democrats want people to buy alcohol with tax money!!"
Honestly? Looking at the details makes the Dems look worse. How far into a special interest's pocket do you have to be to be influenced to vote against that bill by that opposition statement? Be honest now.