Toepel Supports Welfare Reform Legislation
Rep. Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery) has praised her House colleagues for passing legislation that reforms a public welfare system that Republicans and Democrats concede has an error rate of at least 4 percent.
“This is long overdue,” Toepel said. “We must bring greater accountability to this system. It is unconscionable to make taxpayers pay for fraud and inefficiency.”
Among the reforms within the bill:
Welfare recipients applying for benefits would be subject to random drug screenings so as not to 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.
“The Department of Public Welfare is the largest item in the state budget,” Toepel said. “Waste, fraud and abuse steals not only from those who need it most, but from the taxpayers. This is a solid beginning.”
State Representative Marcy Toepel
147th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: David Foster