House passes background checks for benefits recipients

Posted April 11, 2013

N.C. Rep. Paul Luebke, D-District 30.

— The state House has passed a bill that would require local social service agencies to conduct background checks on those applying for food stamps and other federal benefits.

A once-controversial measure, the bill enjoyed broad bipartisan support on a 106-6 vote Thursday. The bill now goes to the Senate. 

"We're not talking about parking tickets that are unpaid. We're talking about fugitive felons," said Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union. Federal rules prohibit granting benefits to fugitives.

The measure had been highly controversial early in its legislative run. But one-time opponents backed the measure Thursday, saying their local Department of Social Services directors had agreed that the bill would not be a problem.

A fiscal estimate attached to the measure says it would only cost the state $144,841.24 to adjust computer systems to provide the background checks. 

One of the few remaining opponents was Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, who said the measure reflected a bias that poor people were automatically suspect while well-off people were considered above reproach. 

He submitted and amendment to adjust the way the state gives job-development grants to companies relocating and expanding in the state.

"All this amendment does is say that when a corporation applies for a JDIG grant ... the CEO of this company and CFO of the company" would have to undergo background checks.

House Speaker Thom Tillis ruled the amendment was out of order, and it was never voted on.


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  • Spock Apr 11, 2013

    Good work GA! Let's get a handle on the moochers (or just flat run them out of the state)!! KUDOS!

  • map1agmachining Apr 11, 2013

    Two thumbs up! Now get rid of the liquor scooters.

  • bronzegoddess40 Apr 11, 2013

    It is so funny when people don't know about what social services does and how you have to qualify for any services they provide. Some people think that you just go to social services and they immediately hand you over a "check" or food stamp card. Ignorance is truly bliss.

  • Danny22 Apr 11, 2013

    It's time the jail birds quit getting checks.

  • teleman60 Apr 11, 2013

    Background checks for benefits but NOT FOR BUYING GUNS?!?!

    In republican world all the pretty 1950's dreams still have that Andy and Opie world view...