Update on Bill to Prevent Link Card Abuse

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A plan some believe would stop people from selling their Link cards for money appears to be at a standstill in Springfield as lawmakers appear to be blaming each other for inaction.

Right now, the plan is sitting in the rules committee. It would require photo IDs on every Link card in hopes of preventing abuse and fraud. Local lawmakers claim this could save $500 million. State Representative Joe Sosnowski says its been a struggle to even get the legislation to a vote. He says leaders in Springfield, like House Speaker Michael Madigan aren’t helping Link card users by fighting this bill.

“I don't know if they just don't, they got a group of individuals who might be on it that are part of their voting base and they don't want to affect the change but the bottom line is this is taxpayer dollars and we want to put those taxpayer dollars to the best possible use, so we can help more people who need it,” said Rep. Joe Sosnowksi (R) – 69th District.

We spoke with a representative from House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office who says the bill hasn’t been voted on because the federal government doesn’t allow for pictures to be on Link cards.

When we did a little digging of our own, we found that under federal law, states can require a person’s picture on their Link card. In fact, Massachusetts just started rolling photo ID cards out in November. Sosnowski says state lawmakers need to approve legislation first then get federal approval and follow certain rules. For example, relatives would have to be able to use cards to buy groceries on behalf of a family member.

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