BOSTON – State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) announces the House adopted legislation reforming the welfare program in Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 6, 2013. Frost voted for the reform and was also successful in passing a key amendment he sponsored.
Frost, as one of the lead sponsors, pushed for language that would require anyone seeking welfare benefits to provide a valid Social Security number before receiving them. The amendment provided a number of exemptions which would give a grace period for newborn babies, domestic violence victims, those who are here on political asylum among a few other common sense circumstances that may result in an individual not being able to legitimately provide a Social Security number for themselves the day they apply for services.
Frost said, “The amendment will go a long way in preventing fraud and verifying those who are truly eligible receive the help. The reform bill as a whole includes many of the ideas and reforms I and other Republican House members have been pushing for some time now.”
The Welfare Reform Bill also tackles monitoring the program better, the elimination of services to those who no longer live in the state, stronger penalties for fraud and trafficking of food stamp benefits, and strengthens work and job search requirements. Provisions of the Bill seek to better help welfare recipients become more independent and transition off welfare and provides a tax credit to employers who hire folks on welfare assistance.
The House version of the Welfare Reform legislation will need to be worked out with Senate version before it is voted on again and sent to the Governor’s desk.