Louisiana's social services department has banned the spending of welfare money on cigarettes, alcohol and lottery tickets.

The new regulations were issued Friday by the Department of Children and Family Services. They also include restrictions that prohibit the use of a welfare electronic benefit card at liquor stores, gambling sites and strip clubs, as required under federal law.

Violators of the new regulations will stop receiving welfare benefits for a year for a first offense, two years for a second offense and permanently for a third offense.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A House health care committee has moved ahead with a proposal that would mandate drug testing of welfare recipients, despite objections from Catholic leaders who said the bill raises moral issues by vilifying poor mothers. Supporters say they want to make sure welfare checks pay for family needs, not drugs.