House Approves Welfare Reform Bill Co-Sponsored by Reed
HARRISBURG – The state House today approved a welfare reform bill co-sponsored by Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana) that would help reduce fraud in a state-administered program that helps low-income people with their heating bills.
“Most hard-working folks are outraged when they learn about welfare fraud,” Reed said. “Many taxpayers are struggling to make ends meet. They don’t want to see their hard-earned money misappropriated for welfare fraud, regardless of whether it’s for traditional food and medicine programs or this initiative to help with home heating expenses.”
House Bill 1991 would require the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) to verify the income eligibility of recipients who are granted assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The bill also would require the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development (DCED) to verify the eligibility of recipients of assistance through a home weatherization program.
“We already have eligibility guidelines in place. This bill would not change those,” Reed said. “We want to make sure those guidelines are being properly enforced. If you’re a down-on-your-luck Pennsylvanian who is eligible and applies for help, this bill would not affect you. If you’re defrauding the system, this bill aims to stop you.”
During the current two-year legislative session, the House and Senate have adopted and the governor has signed into law several welfare reform measures spearheaded by the House Majority Policy Committee, which is chaired by Reed.
“This is the latest bill in our ongoing efforts to ensure taxpayer dollars are used in a responsible manner,” Reed said. “Folks don’t mind helping out someone in need. They get pretty upset when their generosity is taken advantage of by someone who is defrauding the welfare system. We want to ensure welfare dollars reach those people who are truly in need.”
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
State Representative Dave Reed
62nd District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing