What Counts As “Lingerie” in Kansas?

Photographed by Bek Andersen.
It’s official: Kansas families receiving public assistance will no longer be allowed to spend that money on such extravagances as trips to public pools or the movies, among many other activities. The bill, which will go into effect on July 1, is the most restrictive of more than 20 similar laws that already exist. One of the places recipients will no longer be able to shop, according to the bill? "Lingerie stores." Which doesn't sound all that outrageous — until you consider what that category could include. As we asked when we wrote about the policy change earlier this month, how will the state define what constitutes a “lingerie store?” If Kansas lawmakers plan on using the Merriam-Webster definition of “lingerie,” there won’t be many acceptable places to shop. Lingerie is, simply, “women's underwear and clothing that is worn in bed.” The most obvious example of a lingerie store might be Victoria’s Secret, but that chain is hardly the only place a person can purchase undergarments. Inexpensive retailers like Dollar General also stock underwear. Even Walgreens carries those three-packs of Hanes; will they be included? Other retail outlets on the banned list, like fortune-telling businesses or tattoo parlors, are easier to define, and thus avoid. According to a Christian Science Monitor report, poor Kansans will still be able to use their benefits to buy guns. A call to Kansas’ Department of Children and Families was not immediately returned. This post will be updated if a representative responds with more details.

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