Cutler Lauds Welfare Reforms Included in Budget Agreement
As a co-leader of the Welfare Policy Development Team, Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) today announced that several reforms from the House Republican WelFAIR package were included in the 2011-12 budget agreement.
“These welfare reforms were crucial to the budget agreement, and the savings realized from the proposals allowed us to allocate more funding for important education programs,” said Cutler. “Welfare reform is not a partisan issue, but it is a question of good government. Pennsylvania citizens expect state government to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. Returning integrity and accountability to welfare programs is fundamental to regaining the trust and respect of the people we serve.”
Legislation from the WelFAIR package adopted as part of House Bill 960 includes:
- Instituting drug testing for welfare applicants who have been convicted of a drug felony in the past five years.
- Creating an Income Eligibility Verification System to detect fraud by authenticating recipient information.
- Basing benefit amounts on the permanent legal residence of applicants to discourage benefit shopping.
- Requiring greater oversight into the Special Allowances program, as outlined by Democrat Auditor General Jack Wagner.
Cutler noted that similar measures passed the House this spring and will be enacted when the governor signs the bill into law.
“Nearly every area of state funding has been reduced in this budget, and all program areas are feeling the pain necessary to appropriately shrink state government by $1 billion,” said Cutler. “We must control welfare costs and do a better job of administering the largest expenditure of our state budget. These welfare reforms are vital to fixing Pennsylvania’s budget woes.”
House Bill 960 is now on its way to the governor’s desk.
More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at RepCutler.com and Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler.
State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nicole Wamsley