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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Causer Praises Welfare Reform Measures In New Budget

Causer Praises Reforms in Welfare Budget

HARRISBURG Working to protect taxpayers and put a stop to fraud in the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), the state House has adopted a series of welfare reform measures as part of the 2011-12 state budget, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

“Welfare spending skyrocketed 62 percent during the Rendell administration, due in large part to their unwillingness to take action despite significant evidence of waste, fraud and abuse in the system,” Causer said. “The welfare system must be accountable to the taxpayers who fund it, and these reforms represent an important step toward that goal.”

House Bill 960 requires DPW to use an electronic cross-reference system to provide a 19-point check on an applicant’s eligibility and create a standard fraud detection system to stop fraud before it starts. It also requires the department to subject drug felons who are applying for benefits or already receiving benefits to random drug testing. This will ensure welfare benefits are not being used to subsidize drug abuse.

The measure clarifies that people are only eligible for benefits based on the levels allowed in their county of residence, regardless of where they apply. This is important because cash benefit levels different from count to county, which has prompted some to “shop around” for the highest benefit rates.

Finally, House Bill 960 requires an overhaul of the fraud-laden Special Allowance Program.

“The welfare system is meant to help those who truly need it, and every dollar wasted or spent fraudulently takes support away from people in need, and from every single taxpayer in the Commonwealth,” Causer said. “It’s time to put a stop to it.”

While Causer is pleased to see these four reforms incorporated into the budget, he said lawmakers will continue their efforts to enact additional reforms outlined earlier this year in the House Republican WelFAIR (Fairness, Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility) proposal:

  • Using photo identification to make sure benefits aren’t misused.
  • Strengthening legal penalties for those who commit welfare fraud.
  • Reducing abuse in a welfare program that helps people truly in need get to and from doctor appointments, pharmacy visits, methadone clinics, dialyses treatments, physical therapy and other medical appointments.
  • Prohibiting the purchase of tobacco with welfare benefit cards.

For more information about the WelFAIR initiative, visit RepCauser.com.


Anonymous said...

It's a start. I know you have been working hard on this for years, Marty, good job.

Anonymous said...

I am a Democrat, and I commend the Welfare ferform act. People do need help but people take advantage of the system and rip tax payers off. Hopefully it goes through good!

Anonymous said...

I believe that Michigan went through this several years ago and as part of their reform package required people to obtain some kind of employment after a certain number of months or the benefits were cut off. Sounds good to me. If that doesn't work then requiring them to work with city and borough maintenance, cleaning streets, picking litter, whatever was needed wouldn't hurt.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I'm a fan of the drug testing, and here is why:

It's not that I think people should be using welfare to facilitate that type of lifestyle!

It's that I know how much the state is going to get charged to run each screening (probably more than the recipient receives in benefits per month).

So what I'm really saying I suppose, is we better be getting a darn good deal on the testing and not just filling some 3rd party's pockets with taxpayer money.

All of that aside, I'm not sure how welfare got to be permitted for anything but bare basics.
-canned goods

I don't think the state should pay for a candy bar, a 2liter of soda, microwave popcorn LET ALONE cigarettes and god knows what else.

this needs fixed immediately.

if the state must pay your way, the state will provide you and your family need to survive. I would ask for no more myself.

If you want more, you should find a way in our society to make yourself valuable enough to receive your own income for other things.

Anonymous said...

I still think we should go back to the old way and do the surplus food program. Do away with food stamps and give the people only the staples they need for a good balanced diet. That way they will not be buying chips and soda and ice cream with the tax payers money. I have been behind many of them at checkout and they eat better than we do. Makes me really mad when I have to budget our meager income and then watch welfare people getting stuff that I can't afford, on MY money yet. I am all for helping the ones in need but they abuse the food stamp and welfare program every way they can.

Anonymous said...

Food stores better cut back on the amount of steak and lobster they order in.

Anonymous said...

Rendell made Pennsylvania one of the biggest welfare states in the us ! People move here just for that reason! Yet he is on TV bragging how (he) saved Pennsylvania's economy! Must be he doesn't consider how many people lost there jobs and moved out of the state during his 2 terms in office ! What a jackass! Thank god he is gone!

Vicki said...

11:25:00 AM

Just Me said...

Wow, you guys want to dictate what the person buys on foodstamps, I don't care what they buy as long as it's a legal purchase. Instead of whining how their spent, why not do something constructive. Like the fraud that goes on with them. The ones you supposedly see buying lobsters & steaks are the ones selling their foodstamps. Say you get $200 a month in foodstamps, they sell those $200 in foodstamps for $100 dollars cash. I've seen it & reported it. But doubt anything was done about it.

Anonymous said...

Bull Crap! Yes I want to dictate what they pruchase with MY money. What they do with the food stamps as far as selling them is another whole story. As I said, they abuse the system any way they can. Doesn't make any sense that they can buy junk food and not soap and laundry detergent to keep themselves clean either. The whole syustem needs to be over-hauled. What makes you think that just because they are buying steak that the sold their food stamps? They CAN buy steaks with them. I can't afford steak most of the time. How fair is that?

Anonymous said...

Lets cut them off before we make another generation of individuals with Big Screen TV watching people that never have held a job and have not plans too. Soon when children in school are asked what they want to be when they grow up you will hear that they want to live off the system so that they can have more and do less than anyone else. End Welfare before we are a colony of China.

Just Me said...

To: 5:28:00 PM, Well if you think their living so damn well, quit your job & join them!! Corporate Welfare when compared to Public Welfare is the real monster in todays economy, it's just easier to push it off & blame the poor! Get real! If you haven't noticed the unemployment rate has sky rocketed. So a lot of people are out of work & it wasn't their choice. And if you feel it's ok to dictate who buys what on foodstamps cause you pay taxes, well then get on down to Harrisburg and dictate to Corbett he's supported by taxpayers too & is doing NOTHING for Pennsylvania unless it benefits him.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the fire works they buy & shoot off week nights when we have to get up to go to work the next day!
or the money they spend to play bingo with...the list goes on & on
and go to Salamanca to gamble. they sure can do & spend alot more with our money than what we can afford to do. You will see them all when the CARNIVALS come to town too!!!

Anonymous said...

send them to fight in our war to receive their FREE money...i know alot of kids who signed up to get out on their own and have a income coming in...let them do it too....maybe they'll find a job instead !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

AMEN 10:22! I agree 100%!!

Anonymous said...

Yes JUST ME, I think we should dictate what food stamps buy. Just like WIC. We might even solve some of the health and obesity problems if healthy choices were the options for food stamps. You want junk food? Get a job. I worked in a grocery store years ago and it's ridiculous what they buy with food stamps. Tons of convenience food, etc. If you don't work for a living, you might at least take time to COOK!

Anonymous said...

They can't cook. They are too busy making the next generation of slackers.

Anonymous said...

I understand they can also get cash with their access cards. Saw a person the other day get junk food and then also got cash to buy cigarettes. There is something wrong with this picture. Also know a family that receives 5 SSI checks for 1 household. Lot more money I get working every day. I agree with most of the coments Lets go back to giving them the basics sugar flour powdered milk and let them cook their food. I was also told there is people that will come in and teach them how to cook Welfare is WAY out of control. Also go to the ER. If you have a real emergency you have to wait in line because people bring their kids in for a sore throat because they have a green card and think they can,t wait for a DR appointment. This just happened to me. The child is Not going to die before morning. They tie up the ER all the time.