Background checks for benefits advances

Posted June 18, 2013

— A bill that requires background checks for those seeking public assistance has cleared the Senate Judiciary I Committee.

The bill requires local Departments of Social Services to ensure that welfare recipients are not fleeing felons.

However, the measure has been modified from earlier version so as not to conflict with federal law. As originally drafted, the bill would have require local DSS offices to send information to law enforcement. The measure now requires the state Social Service Commission to develop rules for information.

According to the committee's staff, those rules will likely require law enforcement to request certain information on recipients rather than have DSS workers automatically hand it over. 

"The federal rules regarding this is what we were dealing with," Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union explained to the committee. 

The measure, which was approved by the committee on a voice vote, goes next to the Senate floor.


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  • MariAnn Jun 18, 2013

    Looks like this bill will cost much more to implement than any "savings". If the concern is incarcerated individuals getting SNAP why not have a way of checking each new detainee against state data bases. Fleeing felons--sounds like a good way to get caught. Just compare the data with wanted felons data base. The data collected for "public assistance" is very comprehensive, as noted by others who have commented. Perhaps this is some of the IT problems at DHSS. Many of the recipients of aid are children and shouldn't be "fleeing felons". We need to be real careful that children aren't hurt by this legislation.

  • sisu Jun 18, 2013

    Who are these guys coming up with these laws? A big waste of tax payer money.
    June 18, 2013 3:32 p.m


    They'll probably spend a dollar for every nickel they "save", but hey, it's the principle of the thing, right?

  • movingforward Jun 18, 2013

    Who are these guys coming up with these laws? A big waste of tax payer money.

  • Rebelyell55 Jun 18, 2013

    One last thing, they need a way to check who living in the house hold and getting food stamp base on those in the household. If one of the "dependents" is locked up, but they're still claiming them, they're getting money they shouldn't. We as tax payers are paying twice, once for them in jail, and again as welfare. Believe it or not this happens all the time.

  • Rebelyell55 Jun 18, 2013

    I think the bill will work to some degree, but it must be a coordinated efforts between the county LEO and county SS offices. I also think it will make some start doing their jobs since they're suppose to be doing this anyway.

  • littleriver69 Jun 18, 2013

    Why? Just give them everything. Who cares anymore?

  • sisu Jun 18, 2013

    Um... I looked up the application and requirements for the current welfare applicants/recipients. I don't think fleeing felons are likely to set themselves up for capture by providing currently required personal info (including home address).

    Sounds like a waste of money and resources for nothing to me.

  • European American Jun 18, 2013

    Great.. another do NOTHING bill.