Contact: Charles Siler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: TREASURE STATE SENATOR RECEIVES NATIONAL AWARD FOR EMPOWERING MONTANANS TO RETURN TO WORK
AWARD HONORS LEADERSHIP ON WELFARE REFORMS TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF DEPENDENCY
Montana Sen. Fred Thomas was honored with the Foundation for Government Accountability’s 2015 Defender of Opportunity Award Monday for his leadership in the state to reform the welfare system and empower residents to return to the workforce.
Thomas sponsored legislation in Montana to ensure popular work requirements and asset tests for food stamps programs remained in place without express legislative approval, with the goal of protecting the state’s safety net for the truly needy. Strong partnerships with the FGA and leaders like Thomas have helped save 8 million Americans from dependence on government welfare, while promoting opportunities to increase family incomes, and saving taxpayers around the country half a trillion dollars.
“Montana is strong because people help each other in need, and Rep. Thomas and his colleagues in the legislature led the charge to protect and strengthen the state’s safety net with common-sense welfare reforms,” said Tarren Bragdon, FGA CEO.
“Asset tests ensure the states services are preserved for the truly needy, the children, single parents, and the elderly, rather than the guy with a vacation home in another state, and they’re a critical element of a strong welfare system. Even more important is tying benefits to work for those who can, as it’s the most effective tool to help beneficiaries break the cycle of dependency and move to meaningful work.”
Thomas is one of a handful of state leaders being recognized from around the country for their work in 2015, and they are the first group of legislators to be honored with this annual award.