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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    IL: Republicans propose welfare reform as Illinois budget fi

    Part of the article is posted, to read the rest please click on the source link below.
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    Republicans propose welfare reform as Illinois budget fix
    March 7, 2011

    Hannah Hess

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • Some Illinois lawmakers believe they have found the key to solving the state's massive budget crisis: squeezing savings from the safety net supporting the state's 1.6 million welfare recipients.

    Republican lawmakers recently proposed a new package of reforms — forcing drug testing for welfare recipients, sending debt collectors after those improperly receiving benefits and booting the children of illegal immigrants from the state's Medicaid rolls — aimed at cracking down on abuse within the system.

    Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, who has proposed three bills this session relating to welfare reform, thinks the state's push to trim the budget and turn the economy around could bring welfare reform to the forefront.

    Speaking about his proposal to stop providing health care for undocumented immigrant children, Mitchell said: "We're subsidizing, in effect, illegal behaviors. Illinois puts a welcome mat out, and I, quite frankly, think that's wrong."

    But the idea of taking money from programs that provide income, medical and nutrition assistance to Illinois' poorest residents was attacked by advocates for the poor.

    "It's hard economic times, so they are looking for a scapegoat and people to blame," said Dan Lesser, senior attorney for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. "I was a little surprised to see how many bills like this were out there. I thought the focus this year was going to be on jobs and the economy."

    Human services spending eats up over 45 percent of the state's budget — $23.9 billion of the $52.7 billion budget, according to Kelly Kraft, a spokeswoman for the governor's budget office. A report released in 2010 by the state's auditor general revealed that the state spent almost $55 million providing health care to children classified as illegal immigrants.

    Rep. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, has proposed five bills relating to welfare reform, all based, he said, on conversations with his constituents.

    "I walked into a coffee shop in my district, and somebody says to me, 'You know I was standing in line at the grocery store, and somebody used their LINK card to buy Mountain Dew and cigarettes,'" Rose said, referring to the card that the state uses to distribute food stamp money and other assistance. He has proposed banning the use of food stamp benefits on junk food purchases.

    Another bill would require LINK cardholders to have their photos printed on the benefit cards.

    Rose said people in his district frequently complain of seeing LINK cardholders exchange their cards for cash to buy drugs.

    "People who work the checkout line at Walmart call me and say, 'Thank you, we see this every day,'" Rose said.

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  2. #2

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    Re: IL: Republicans propose welfare reform as Illinois budge

    Wow! This guy has some very reasonable stipulations for welfare recipients. However, I do not agree on reporting people to debt collectors, except for the illegals. Cutting off anchors will save millions of dollars which we all know feeds their illegal parents. Photo ID's on the cards are a good idea, but all Mexicans look alike, so I don't think that will have any impact at all. They just pass around their ID's anyways. The drug testing is a good idea, in that people who are druggies don't deserve taxpayers money to support their drug habit lifestyles. And yes, implementing only certain purchaces on the cards in a MUST!! Let's hope these bills pass, so that we can clean up the trash in our Country, one state at a time!!
    <div>"Diversified"*does NOT*mean invading*our Country and forcing their culture and language,**stealing jobs,*using fake ID',s, living on government benefits, and flying their flag over ours! </div>

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