Families, Seniors, & Human Services Committee Reports out Bridge Card Reform
Bill eliminates assistance for lottery winners
LANSING- Legislation introduced by Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) that would crack down on food stamp fraud was supported by the Senate Committee on Families, Seniors and Human Services today. Senator Bieda worked with Committee Chair Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan) on language for the bill that would exclude lottery winners from collecting food assistance.
"It's absurd to think that a millionaire was collecting food assistance when there so many families out there who are struggling to make ends meet," said Senator Bieda. "Working men and women expect their tax dollars to be used wisely. This kind of waste is unacceptable."
"It is an absolute waste of tax dollars," commented Senator Emmons. "This unacceptable practice warranted prompt, corrective action."
"We have to stop situations like this from falling through the cracks," said Senator Tory Rocca (R-Sterling Heights) who also supported the bill in committee. "Taxpayer dollars should be used to help the truly needy. This legislation addresses an obscene abuse of the system."
Under the new legislation the Department of Human Service would have to calculate lottery winnings as part of an applicant's income regardless of whether it was awarded in a lump sum or scheduled payments. The legislation would also make individuals who commit fraud with their Bridge cards ineligible for benefits.