Reed Applauds House Republican Welfare Reforms Included in State Budget

Measures would drug test some welfare applicants and prevent fraud


As part of the overall state budget agreement, the House on Thursday approved and Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign into law several welfare reform provisions introduced earlier this year by Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana) and the House Majority Policy Committee.


“These reforms will ensure taxpayer dollars are targeted to folks truly in need,” said Reed, who serves as chairman of the House Majority Policy Committee.  “Every dollar of welfare waste, fraud and abuse that we can prevent is another dollar we can use to help an elderly person or child in need.”


The first reform would authorize random drug testing for welfare applicants who have been convicted of a prior drug felony. 


The second reform would require the use of a fraud detection program that would run welfare applicants’ information through an income eligibility verification system before providing benefits. 


The third reform would prevent “benefit shopping,” where people apply for welfare benefits in a county other than the one in which they live in order to receive higher benefit payments.  Under this initiative, applicants would receive benefits based on their place of permanent residence.


The final reform would change the fraud-laden special allowance program under the Department of Public Welfare (DPW).  This would reduce the costs of this program by up to 25 percent. 


“Together, these reforms will help restore integrity to Pennsylvania’s public assistance system,” Reed said.  “Government has a responsibility to take care of those truly in need.  However, we have an equal responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are not being abused by those folks who would attempt to defraud the system.  These reforms correctly balance those two interests.”


The four House Republican welfare reforms were amended into House Bill 960, which served as the Welfare Code Bill that is as an auxiliary bill that must be passed each year in conjunction with the state budget.


The House Majority Policy Committee has worked on welfare reform initiatives this year under the leadership of Reed, who appointed two co-chairs to head a group charged with developing policies to restore integrity to Pennsylvania’s public assistance system.


The lawmakers developed the comprehensive WelFAIR (Fairness, Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility) initiative, which included the four proposals that will soon be signed into law.


To learn more about the WelFAIR initiative, visit


State Representative Dave Reed

62nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Dan Massing
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