Welfare cheats using ATMs at strip clubs? Representative Dan Pabon's got his eye on you!

It's inspiring, really, the way state lawmakers pull together when a matter of great social consequence is at stake. Such seems to be the case with the rapid move through committee this week of House Bill 1058, sponsored by Denver Democrat Dan Pabon, which would prevent poor folks from using their welfare debit cards at ATMs in strip clubs.

God bless America and our ever-vigilant legislators.

Pabon's bill would add topless, nude and otherwise adult entertainment venues to a long list of places in which welfare recipients aren't supposed to use the cash machines, including casinos, racetracks, bingo parlors, gun stores and liquor stores. Like all sound legislation, the prohibition is basically unenforceable and appears to address a largely nonexistent problem. According to this report in the Denver Daily News, a local television exposé on reckless ATM use by those on the dole ferreted out exactly one strip-club withdrawal of $80.

But proponents of the bill believe it will discourage participants in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program from squandering public dollars on lap dances and splits of champagne. Anyway, nobody wants to see poor, skeevy shlubs slobbering at the ATMs at gentleman's clubs. They need to get out of line and let the rich, skeevy shlubs access their cash.

Pabon's bill slipped through committee as smoothly as a fiver through a G-string. Look for several companion pieces of legislation to surface in coming weeks, including the following:

HB 11-2249: Concerning Insufficient Cash Flow Among Starbucks Patrons. Prohibits patrons who purchase only a basic "tall" beverage from hogging valuable table space on cold days when drinkers of exotic ventes and trintas are so much more deserving.

SB11-402: An Act Authorizing the Relocation of the Hygenically Challenged From Restaurant Buffet Lines. Whereas, there is a corpus of scientific research that indicates third-party body odor inhibits appetite among otherwise ravenous citizens, those individuals defined as "smelly" under section 3.1(g) of this Act shall be limited to fast-food venues with outside tables, such as Good Times.

HB11-4810: Regulation of Nauseatic Episodes. Prohibits vomiting in public places as a health hazard, with exclusions for currently enrolled college students paying out-of-state tuition, card-carrying LoDo hipsters and bulimics who have been properly certified by a physician.

SB11-2672: Increased penalties for vehicular homicide. Raises the minimum sentence for a conviction in any "hit and run" resulting in fatality or serious bodily injury to no less than fifty years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, unless the driver happens to be an important fund manager whose career would be adversely affected by said conviction.

More from our Politics archive: "Eric Zinn, mayoral hopeful, wants Denver to lose a million pounds."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast