Springfield - State Representative Jim Durkin (R- Western Springs) is strongly supporting a package of entitlement reforms to eliminate fraud, misuse and waste in the system.
“These four pieces of legislation will allow the state to preserve the welfare system for those it was intended to help,” said Durkin. “With 4.7 million Illinoisans on welfare, more than one-third of our citizens are receiving taxpayer-funded benefits. Welfare costs are skyrocketing while Illinois faces an ongoing fiscal crisis. We must work to reverse this trend.”
Healthcare experts estimate that 10 percent of the state’s $15 billion spent annually on Medicaid goes to fraud and abuse.
“There is far too much fraud and abuse in the Illinois welfare systems that are costing the taxpayers billions and we must cut down on this illegal use of taxpayer dollars immediately,” said Durkin.
House Bill 133 will have the name and picture printed on the LINK card of the primary user and the names of any authorized secondary users. Secondary users will be required to show a valid state issued ID in order to use the LINK card at checkout.
“The Department of Human Services is seeing that LINK cards are being traded for illegal goods such as guns or drugs and cashiers are unable to verify if the person using the LINK cards were actually issued the Link cards,” said Durkin.
House Bill 2784 prohibits the use of cash given from under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program for the purchase of
alcoholic beverages, lottery tickets, firearms or firearms ammunition, admission to any performance, gambling games, and rental goods.
“These reforms will allow the state’s law enforcement to crack down on subsequent crimes in which guns, drugs, or other illegal items were paid for by state cash assistance or Link card funds,” said Durkin.
House Bills 2490 and 3174 are designed to deter criminal action. House Bill 2490 will allow the Department of Human Services to cross-reference their LINK card recipients with the Illinois State Police's database of outstanding criminal warrants. Public aid recipients who are found to have an outstanding criminal warrant shall be subject to an immediate suspension of their public aid benefits.
House Bill 3174 allows the Department of Human Services to cross-reference with the Illinois Department of Correction's database of incarcerated persons to suspend all public aid to recipients who are inmates. These benefits include the immediate deactivation of their electronic benefits.