Lori votes to end abuse of food assistance programs

Published 6:48 pm Friday, September 9, 2011

State Rep. Matt Lori voted Sept. 7 in favor of legislation to protect Michigan’s food assistance program by helping to reduce fraud and abuse in the system.
The multi-bill package, approved Wednesday by the Michigan House, is part of an extensive effort to halt the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
“In the last few years, I have heard from many constituents with various stories about Bridge Card abuse,” said Lori, R-Constantine. “I am pleased that the House took positive action today. This is the first step in a long line of reforms that must be accomplished.”
House Bills 4721-23 help remove Bridge Card recipients who have outstanding arrest warrants; prohibit the use of Bridge Cards to purchase lottery tickets, alcohol, or tobacco; ban Bridge Card use at casinos; and require DHS to review incarceration records monthly and deactivate the bridge card for anyone who is in jail.
The Bridge Card is used to electronically transmit food and cash assistance to provide temporary help to qualified individuals who are truly in need.
“A lot of the efforts we are using to try to reform abuse are tied to what the federal government rules allow,” Lori said. “In order to move forward, I am asking residents to put pressure on their elected representatives in Washington to allow the Legislature to make more reforms in the future.”
The measures now go to the Senate for consideration.