The Need for Reform

 November 2, 2015

Over the next few months there will be an increased emphasis on charity - church members will increase their offerings, organizations like the Milwaukee Rescue Mission will feed the homeless a Thanksgiving dinner, church and community food pantries will be filled and toys will be collected for children. It is important for us as a society to realize that people fall on hard times and are in need. This next week, the Wisconsin State Assembly will take up four bills, including one of my own, to ensure that safety nets and social programs managed by the state will continue to help those who are truly in need.

Government run programs are usually begun with good intentions, but all too often they balloon, lose their focus and become breeding grounds for fraud, waste and abuse. I took an oath to be a good steward of every dime of taxpayer money that enters the state coffers; this includes shining a spotlight on inefficiencies, repairing problems to maintain integrity in state and jointly-run federal programs. In an effort to ensure that our state FoodShare and Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs are being run efficiently, the Assembly will vote next week to place photos on FoodShare EBT cards; purge unused dollars on FoodShare accounts inactive for one year; restrict UI benefits for seven years after two acts of benefit fraud and enact a four-card limit on the number of replacement EBT cards that can be issued in one year.

 As the author of the bill to add photos to FoodShare cards, I realize that there are costs associated with administering these changes. However, I feel that maintaining the integrity of these programs now will be a benefit to taxpayers in the long run. Thus, I look forward to supporting each of these measures with my vote on the Assembly floor.