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Republican Leaders Propose Tightening Welfare Rules in Kansas

Photo by Stephen Koranda

Republican leaders in the Kansas House and Senate are introducing a bill to fight welfare fraud. The legislation will require identity verification for adults in the home of a welfare recipient. It will also put requirements in place for getting replacement benefit cards. Republican state Representative Dan Hawkins says repeatedly losing a benefit card can indicate possible fraud.

“If you have a recipient that is continually getting new cards that might make one wonder what’s happening to those cards? It’s going to ensure the integrity of our system that we don’t have people using those cards that aren’t intended to use those cards,” says Hawkins.

The legislation would cross-check big lottery winners against a list of people receiving state assistance. Anyone claiming a lottery prize of $10,000 or more would have their welfare assistance reduced accordingly. Republican state Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook says so far, she hasn't heard of any such cases happening in Kansas.

“We do know that it’s happened in other states, and people are outraged when it happens,” says Pilcher-Cook.

State rules say cash assistance benefits shouldn’t be spent on lottery tickets.


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