ILLINOIS (WIFR) – Welfare fraud and abuse is a concern of most taxpayers. Now there is a plan being proposed which supporters say would save the state millions. They also think it would ensure only people who deserve financial help would get it.
"You never know maybe that person took it from their friend or whoever, they want to just purchase food on it."
Grocery store owner Moe Zatar says LINK cards are a tricky system. It’s hard for him to tell the card’s true owner with no real security in place. That’s why some local Republican politicians are pushing for a welfare reform legislation package.
“It is our hard earned tax dollars and that’s who we need to start protecting,”
State representative Joe Sosnowski says this plan would stop criminals from receiving welfare benefits by requiring a photo ID on all LINK cards.
“We’re not looking to make it more difficult on those who need the benefits, we just want to make sure that they are there for those who truly need it and we’re not cyphering money off that’s going to those who don’t really need it,” said Representative Joe Sosnowski.
Another part of this proposal would limit the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Instead of families receiving cash, they would have a debit-like card to prevent them from using this cash to spend on alcohol or lottery tickets. Opponents say this will put a burden on business owners who will have to enforce these proposed changes. However, Zatar disagrees.
“To tell you the truth, it’s easier because when somebody comes in and they show me the card I’ll see their face and that’s it.”
Legislators say this proposal could save the state up to $500 million dollars. These laws could be voted upon in the House soon, which is a must because the legislative season is in its final weeks.