Lagana, Burzichelli & Garcia Legislation to Encourage Use of Pre-Paid Debit Cards for Government Disbursements Released by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Joseph Lagana, John Burzichelli and Carmelo Garcia sponsored to expand the state’s method of government disbursement such as gross income tax refunds or any applicable State and local payments to individuals or business entities was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

The sponsors noted that the intent of both measures (A-2924 and A-2925) is to modernize the payment system to increase efficiency and provide a more accessible form of payment receipt for recipients lacking readily available access to banking institutions.

“It’s time to bring the state’s payment disbursement methods into the twenty-first century,” Lagana (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Pre-paid cards would provide easier and faster access to refunds and payments.”

“Debit and credit cards are the preferred method of payment nearly everywhere,” said Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “It’s a simple option that would provide more versatility for the residents and more efficiency in government payment processing.”

“Improving the way payments are disbursed would be beneficial to both residents and to local and state government,” said Garcia (D-Hudson). “Encouraging a move to electronic forms of payment is a sensible step toward reducing expenses in a tough economy.”

One bill (A-2924) would provide for the distribution of gross income tax refunds via prepaid debit cards, under the purview of the Division of Taxation and potentially in time for taxable years.

The second bill (A-2925) would provide for state and local payments to be disbursed in a standardized debit card and depend upon ongoing review of financial feasibility for both government levels.

The bills were released by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.