State Lawmakers Push For Tougher Welfare Laws

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MONTGOMERY, Ala.(WHNT)-Are you unknowingly supporting someone’s drug habit? Or maybe even paying for their visit to the nearest strip club or psychic?

State lawmakers say that’s exactly what taxpayers are funding these days due to fraud in Alabama’s welfare system, with new legislation now taking aim at those who game the system.

Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) is sponsoring a trio of bills that would impose strict penalties for welfare abuse, while also implementing new standards for those applying to receive public benefits. A Senate committee gave all three of Orr’s bills the green light earlier this week, which will now move to the floor for a vote in the coming days.

“We need to put a stop to it,” said Sen. Orr. “This money is for families and it’s for children, and folks are taking the children’s milk money and blowing it on things they have no need for.”

SB 116 would prohibit welfare benefits from being used on frivolous items like tattoos, lottery tickets, alcohol and phone calls to psychic hotlines.

SB 115 would require welfare candidates to apply for at least three jobs before their benefits are approved, with the stipulation that those who voluntarily end their own employment would be immediately ineligible for public assistance.

SB 114 would impose penalties as stiff as jail time and loss of funds for those who knowingly lie to obtain public housing and other welfare benefits. Orr said the Alabama District Attorneys Association has endorsed his call on tougher penalties for fraud and abuse.


  • Fedup

    That is all great…but what about the people that REALLY need AFDC and things such as that, yet, they can’t get it because you have to apply for work. What if they don’t have transportation nor access to public transportation? Those are the ones that really suffer…I know, I’m one of them. And before you say anything, no I don’t have internet at my home, I’m at a friends.

  • MC

    Fedup, who cares if they need transportation I use to walk 5 miles to work oneway as a student but I finish school. They should also put a limit on how many kids you can have if you are on the system. If you can’t take care of the ones you have already and you get pregnant again then the system shouldn’t pay for that baby. I’m sick and tired of paying for other people to live free!! Get A Job I Don’t Care If It’s Flipping Burgers It’s Still A Job!!

  • Wake Up

    I guess it is ok that some farmers to use their farm subsidy money to buy “frivolous” things. It must be ok for students using state and federal money to buy frivolous things that take milk from their babes. I do not hear anyone suggesting that we prohibit those groups benefits from being used on frivolous items like tattoos, lottery tickets, alcohol and phone calls to psychic hotlines.

    Many groups that receive government support can use that money for frivolous things, but why is it that we only attack those programs that help low income people? Did Jesus ask people to prove they had looked for three jobs before he feed them fish and bread (SB 115)? He did say that we should teach a man to fish, but he did not say that we should let them starve while they learned or if they refused. Remember, God said that you will be judged by how you treat the least of his kind!

    • Wake Up

      I do read the bible. It also said what I said in my post. Bob (or whatever name you are now using), the beauty of the bible is that you can find a passage to support both side of any position.

  • preacher

    Wrong again, wake up. However, My Bible tells me to “not cast my pearls before the Swine”. You can’t “twist” scripture around to suit your own preference. You must read/study the Bible and keep it in “context”. The Word of God is the Only authority in Heaven And Earth. We will All give account to God one day in regards to how we treated His Holy Word. I shall now stop “casting my Pearls before the swine”. Amen..

  • kl

    maybe you would have transportation if you got a job.
    yes some people really do need assistance, but 9 out of 10 times people who have it abuse it or cheat to get it.
    i know many who have ebt cards who will sell them to get cash.
    (ex..i have 300 on the card you can use all 300 if i can have 250 in cash)

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