Turzai Supports Legislation to Reform Welfare System
7/5/2007

Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) today applauded the passage of amendments to House Bill 83, aimed at reforming Pennsylvania’s welfare system. 

“Good government is always the best policy, and legislation that will help cut back on welfare fraud is an example of good government,? Turzai said.  “Rooting out welfare fraud will benefit the truly needy and return hard-earned money back to taxpayers.  From its very beginnings, welfare was designed to be a helping hand, not a way of life.  These amendments are the first step in reforming the system to help everyone involved.  I look forward to seeing these much needed improvements pass the Senate and signed into law by the governor.? 

The amendments were introduced by Reps. Rob Kaufmann (R-Cumberland/Franklin), Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon), Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster) and Tom Quigley (R-Montgomery). 

Quigley’s amendment would put into effect residency requirements for County Assistance Offices (CAOs).  Under this legislation, a person may only apply for welfare benefits at their nearest county CAO. 

Denlinger’s amendment would require Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to submit the Pennsylvania Work Verification Plan, quarterly reports, annual reports and any other data submitted to the federal government regarding the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to the state treasurer, inspector general and officers of the General Assembly. 

Kauffman’s amendment would require a photo be placed on welfare recipients Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.  This would lessen the using of EBT cards as a form of currency and from more than one person using the card. 

Gingrich’s amendment would establish Pennsylvania’s Income Eligibility Verification System (IEVS).  IEVS is a computerized system that matches applicants’ and recipients’ Social Security numbers with 19 different federal and state databases.  This would help to eliminate people applying multiple times for benefits. 

All four representatives who offered amendments are members of the Welfare Task Force, an arm of the House Republican Policy Committee, chaired by Turzai.  Reforming the welfare system has been a top priority of the Policy Committee. 

The amendments offered today were designed to help those who are truly needy get the care and benefits that they deserve, move those who are able to work into stable, family-sustaining jobs and return money back to the pockets of hard-working taxpayers, added Turzai. 

The House Republican Policy Committee has held several public hearings throughout the state on the issue of welfare fraud and reform.   

Rep. Mike Turzai
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

(412) 369-2230
www.RepTurzai.com
Contact:  Tricia Graham
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 260-6296
www.pahousegop.com