Republican Leaders Propose Tightening Welfare Rules In Kansas

Jan 21, 2016

Credit Stephen Koranda

Republican leaders in the Kansas House and Senate are introducing a bill to fight welfare fraud.

The legislation will require identity verification for adults in the home of a welfare recipient. It will also put requirements in place for getting replacement benefit cards.

Republican state Rep. Dan Hawkins says repeatedly losing a benefit card can indicate possible fraud.

“If you have a recipient that is continually getting new cards, that might make one wonder what’s happening to those cards? It’s going to ensure the integrity of our system that we don’t have people using those cards that aren’t intended to use those cards,” Hawkins says.

The proposal would also cross-check welfare recipients against a list of people who've won $10,000 or more in the Kansas Lottery, so winnings can be taken into account for eligibility.

Republican state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook says so far, she hasn't heard of any such cases happening in Kansas.

“We do know that it’s happened in other states, and people are outraged when it happens,” Pilcher-Cook says.

State rules say cash assistance benefits shouldn’t be spent on lottery tickets.