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Cost savings for welfare fraud detection in Berks and Schuylkill counties, the fight for school property tax elimination + other news from Sen. Argall

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Follow Sen. Argall on Twitter for Senate happenings – @SenatorArgall
For photos from Sen. Argall, follow him on Instagram

In this email update:

  • Cost savings for welfare fraud detection in Berks and Schuylkill counties
  • The fight for school property tax elimination
  • Latest Argall Report highlights legislation changing the way the lieutenant governor is elected in PA
  • Discussing anti-blight initiatives with the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania State Council of Farm Organizations seminar
  • Combatting the opioid/heroin crisis in Pennsylvania
  • Grants awarded for several community projects
  • Pennsylvania ranks #3 in deer collisions
  • Flu season precautions
  • On deck

Cost savings for welfare fraud detection in Berks and Schuylkill counties

As Chairman of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, one of the biggest issues my colleagues and I continue to tackle is welfare fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania. My goal regarding welfare reform is to end the abuse of the system so that we can save the state money and afford to provide additional assistance to those who are truly needy.

Based on figures provided by the Office of Inspector General for the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, the office saved approximately $2.4 million in Berks County and $622,774 in Schuylkill County through various welfare fraud prevention initiatives.

While these cost savings are significant in the region and across the state, I believe more needs to be done.

I have been at the forefront of several welfare reform initiatives over the years, including one that was vetoed by the governor during the 2015-16 legislative session which would require the state to hire more investigators within the Office of Inspector General in order to detect more welfare fraud. I reintroduced the same bill this legislative session as Senate Bill 425.

I am very disappointed in the governor’s recent veto of welfare reform measures in House Bill 59 which would establish a work requirement for able-bodied Medicaid recipients. The goal of this requirement was to reduce costs in the long-term by encouraging recipients to find employment and become self-sufficient, rather than continue to rely upon the taxpayer. This has been the case in other states which have enacted this requirement and it is incomprehensible as to why the governor chose to veto this legislation which would reduce fraud and save taxpayers money.

The focus should be on more jobs, more people working, better education and training – not more welfare costs. My colleagues and I will continue to find ways to cut costs and provide the Office of Inspector General with the resources they need to tackle welfare fraud.

In a recent statement issued by Pennsylvania Inspector General Bruce Beemer, he stated, “Illegal trafficking in public benefits is a real problem in our communities. Our office works every day to prevent fraud and recover taxpayer money. The Senate has helped to give our office new tools to fight fraud, and I encourage constituents to report suspected welfare fraud to our tip line at 1-800-932-0582.”


The fight for school property tax elimination

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