State Representatives John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) and Joe Sosnowski (R-Belvidere) joined House Republican Leader Tom Cross in Rockford to introduce new welfare legislation.
House Bill 133 would make it requirement for all LINK cards to have a photo of the cardholder. The goal behind the bill is to decrease fraud by ensuring the person using the card is the authorized user. Names of secondary users would also be put on the card. They would have to show valid photo ID before using the card.
"These programs were designed to assist families during difficult times. Unfortunately, there are those that abuse this system," Cabello said. "Welfare costs in Illinois continue to skyrocket while our state faces a serious fiscal crisis. The General Assembly must work to put a stop to the waste, fraud and abuse of the welfare program so that the benefits are there when people truly need them."
"The goal for placing a picture on the LINK/SNAP card is to hopefully stop fraud at the register. This extra layer of protection would make anyone trying to abuse the system think twice because their actual picture is not on the card," Sosnowski said. "These benefits are vital for struggling families and putting photographs on the LINK card is one way we can ensure the help goes to the intended recipients."
Another new bill, House Bill 2784, would prevent Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits from being used to buy alcohol, lottery tickets, firearms, and other specific good and services. The funds should be used for basic needs like food, shelter, and utilities. However, current law allows a person to spend the money however they wish.
House Bills 3174 and 2490 would suspend public aid and benefits for State correctional facilities inmates and recipients with outstanding warrants.
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