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Farry Supports Welfare Reform Bills in Committee

The House Health Committee today passed four bills co-sponsored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) aimed at reducing fraud and abuse in the state’s welfare system. 

“The state auditor general has reported hundreds of millions of dollars of waste, fraud and abuse annually in the Department of Public Welfare,” Farry said.  “In these tough economic times our budget needs those funds.   I voted for these bills in committee because I believe they are an important step toward making state government leaner and more efficient.” 

The bills which passed the Health Committee include: 

  • House Bill 960 which establishes a fraud detection system and an income eligibility verification system within DPW for the purpose of identifying, investigating and resolving potential cases of fraud and abuse in the public assistance system. 
  • House Bill 1251 which strengthens penalties for those convicted of more than $1,000 worth of welfare fraud by increasing the offense to a third-degree felony, which will bring the Welfare Code into line with existing penalties in the Crimes Code.  The bill also clarifies existing law on welfare fraud to include the use of access devices such as ACCESS cards or EBT cards. 
  • House Bill 1254 which amends the Public Welfare Code to prohibit the purchase of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia with EPPICards or EBT cards. 
  • House Bill 1261 which requires DPW to calculate public assistance amounts based on a person’s eligibility and need in their county of permanent residence to prevent so-called “welfare shopping” in which applicants apply for assistance in the county which will provide the highest amount of benefits.  

“This is not an effort to take services and benefits away from anyone who genuinely needs assistance,” Farry said.  “These bills are aimed at eliminating the waste, fraud and abuse which is making it more difficult for the state to serve those who are truly in need.” 

Rep. Scott Petri (R-Bucks) who also serves on the Health Committee also voted in favor of the bills.  The bills will now be considered by the full House. 

State Representative Frank Farry
142nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Sean Yeakle

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