Gov. Deval Patrick on Friday signed a bill that would prevent the use of EBT cards at certain locations but said the ban would be impractical to enforce.
The bill would prevent EBT cards from being used at casinos, liquor stores, jewelry stores and tattoo parlors.
Patrick said the state's EBT vendor, Xerox, would have to upgrade systems at every retailer in the state to block the purchase of specific items. The upgrades would cost each store between $100 thousand and $350 thousand, according to the Patrick administration.
Patrick also said there was no requirement in the legislation for stores to purchase the software.
According to Patrick, individual retailers could enforce the requirements of the bill and anyone knowingly using EBT's cards to purchase restricted items could face fines.
Patrick said he signed the bill with "the understanding and on due notice that the administration will not enforce what cannot be enforced."