Contact: Charles Siler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEW LEGISLATION TAMPS DOWN ON WELFARE FRAUD IN WYOMING
BILL CREATING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR APPLICANTS SIGNED INTO LAW
The State of Wyoming will soon have new tools at its disposal to find and root out welfare benefit fraud after Governor Matt Mead signed into law that makes use of the best practices found in FGA’s welfare reform initiatives, potentially saving millions of taxpayer dollars annually and making sure truly needy Wyomingites will have access to the funds necessary to get them through a rough period.
SF 73, the Welfare Fraud Prevention Act, would have the State of Wyoming enter into a competitive-bid contract with a third-party vendor to develop a system using enhanced data-matching technology that verifies welfare applicant income identity, income, and asset information in order to determine the applicant’s eligibility prior to the delivery of benefits. This technology will check state, federal, and commercial databases to verify the identity, citizenship status, income residency, and employment status of every welfare and food stamp applicant.
These checks will also be performed automatically on a quarterly basis to ensure that each and every welfare recipient is till eligible for the program. If a discrepancy is found in the information provided by the applicant or recipient, they will be given substantial time and opportunity to resolve the issue, but self-declarations will not be accepted. This common-sense bill will help protect the safety net so many Wyoming families rely on.
“Wyomingites need to be sure that their tax dollars are being used properly, and we need to make sure the funds are there for those who legitimately need help in times of need,” said Sen. Leland Christensen, who sponsored SF 73.
“This legislation helps accomplish both. While we may not be able to end welfare fraud entirely, we will certainly put a big dent in it and make sure this money is going where Wyoming taxpayers intend for it to go.”
The bill large support in the Legislature and was sponsored by seven members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Senate sponsors include Leland Christensen, Stan Cooper, Ogden Driskill, Bill Landen, Curt Meier, R. Ray Peterson, and Jeff Wasserburger.
House sponsors include Rosie Berger, Dan Kirkbride, Kendall Kroeker, Dan Laursen, Tom Reeder, Tom Walters, and David Zwonitzer.
The Welfare Fraud Prevention Act will become effective on July 1, 2016.