Stephens Backs Commonsense Welfare Reform Legislation

In an attempt to reform a public welfare system that officials on both sides of the aisle have long conceded has at least a 4 percent error rate, Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomery) joined a majority of House colleagues in passing legislation to begin the process of reforming the system. 

“This law is designed to bring greater accountability to a system that has been riddled with loopholes that bleeds tax dollars through waste and fraud,” Stephens said.   

Among the reforms within the bill: 

  • Welfare recipients applying for benefits would be subject to random drug screenings.  Welfare cannot subsidize the drug trade. 

  • Under current law, those seeking welfare can “shop” for the best benefits by applying for benefits in counties that provide higher benefits as a “temporary” resident.    The law now requires welfare recipients to receive the level of benefits from where they actually reside. 

  • The Department of Public Welfare would now be required to cross-reference an applicant’s eligibility electronically against 19 different databases to combat welfare fraud.  

  • The Special Allowance program that provided grants to welfare recipients looking for work has been rife with fraud.  This legislation requires the DPW to reduce the program by 25 percent. 

“This is commonsense legislation that is long overdue,” Stephens said.   

State Representative Todd Stephens
151st District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  David Foster

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