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By ARep | February 7th, 2013 - 4:54pm
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O’SCANLON LEGISLATION PERMITTING USE OF PREPAID DEBIT CARDS BY GOVERNMENT TO MAKE PAYMENTS RELEASED BY COMMITTEE

Two bills sponsored by Assembly Republican Budget Officer Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, that creates greater government efficiency, saves taxpayer dollars by using prepaid debit cards and gives recipients easier access to their funds was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee today.

Under bill A-3561, the Treasury Dept. is permitted to issue state income tax refunds with prepaid cards, while A-3562 allows the same method of payment by the State and local governments to individual recipients or businesses.

“Whether refunding income tax payments to residents, remitting monies owed to businesses for services provided or disbursing funds to individuals, it makes sense to utilize the efficiencies provided by a prepaid debit card,” said O’Scanlon, who has also sponsored legislation requiring that compensation paid by state and local government to employees be delivered by direct bank deposit. “Making payments via prepaid debit cards uses proven technology and reduces the cost of government.

“These bills provide flexibility by allowing the recipient to use the debit card with authorized merchants or redeem the card for cash at banks or other approved financial institutions,” explained O’Scanlon. “Recipients will still have the option to utilize direct deposit, but for those who don’t have a bank account this is a convenient way to access their funds. At the same time, government is cutting costs by streamlining its operations.”

Under both pieces of legislation, the following components must be included when implementing the use of prepaid debit cards:

• An “Open Loop” - the debit card must be redeemable at a variety of merchants and financial institutions instead of a closed loop of related merchants.

• The card must be redeemable for products, services or cash with merchants; and for cash at automated and manual teller terminals of approved financial institutions.

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