Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would dock lottery winners who'd received welfare

Senate approves bill to dock lottery winners

The Senate passed a bill Monday that would take back money from Virginia Lottery winners if they had received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits in the previous five years.

Senate Bill 192 by Sen. Mark Peake, R-Lynchburg, says that for lottery prizes of $25,000 or more, the state will be credited the amount of any cash benefit the winner received from TANF.

Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, said that after taxes, that would essentially strip a winner of all earnings — and thus send them back on welfare.

“Come on man, are we really doing this?” Stanley said. “This is not a partisan issue. This is about taking care of poor people who get lucky!”

Three Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the bill: Stanley and Sens. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Fauquier County and Siobhan Dunnavant of Henrico County.

But three Democrats joined Republicans to vote for the bill: Sen. George Barker of Fairfax County, Sen. Rosalyn Dance of Petersburg and Sen. Lynwood Lewis of Accomack County. The bill passed 21-19.