Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Missouri House Approval of Welfare Reform Bill

Published April 28, 2016

Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Missouri House Approval of Welfare Reform Bill

The Missouri House of Representatives Wednesday approved Senate Bill 607, a bill requiring the state’s Department of Social Services to verify eligibility for entitlement benefit payments on a regular basis. House and Senate versions of the bill will have to be reconciled before being sent to Gov. Jay Nixon (D) for a signature.

The following statements from policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.

“Although the bill’s approval is a positive step forward for taxpayers, the Missouri state government should have been doing this a long time ago.

“By regularly checking to ensure recipients of taxpayer money are actually receiving the money, and are eligible to receive that money under the programs’ rules, lawmakers can help reassure taxpayers that their money is not used by individuals cheating the system.

“Going forward, Missouri lawmakers should work to reconcile the bills passed by the House and Senate, keeping in mind that they are sent to Jefferson City to represent the interests of taxpayers, not their individual interests.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“State welfare programs are plagued with fraud and abuse, jeopardizing the safety nets formed to help the vulnerable among us. Unfortunately, abuse in states’ welfare programs costs taxpayers millions of dollars and robs limited resources from the truly vulnerable who need temporary help. “Missouri lawmakers have a responsibility to ensure taxpayer dollars are being appropriately managed, and it’s encouraging to see Senator David Sater and other Missouri state lawmakers understand that welfare is meant for the truly neediest.

“Enforcing fraud prevention measures and adopting reforms, such as regularly checking income, resources, and assets, will protect taxpayers and maintain that resources are going to those who truly need assistance.”

Logan Pike
State Government Relations Manager
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“Combating fraud is important for all entitlement programs. Overpayments, waste, and fraud affect everyone by placing entitlement systems in jeopardy and forcing higher taxes. Before considering tax increases, program extensions, or bailouts, each state should conduct a full review of its system to identify any problems with fraud, waste, and abuse.

“Transparency is important, and Missouri’s move to regularly double-check welfare eligibility rolls is a strong step towards accountability.”

Matthew Glans
Senior Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.