After receiving numerous welfare fraud complaints, Massachusetts voted to start a pilot program to use fingerprints and other biometric identifiers to verify recipients.
Republican Brad Jones spearheaded the initiative because he thinks it will save the state millions of dollars by preventing people from receiving benefits they don’t deserve.
Welfare fraud has been abundant in Massachusetts. A recent audit revealed that millions of dollars were given as “questionable benefits.” Some of these benefits went to deceased people or others living in a different state.
More than $2.39 million dollars was found to be given to recipients more than six to 27 months after dying.
Welfare fraud is a serious offense that results in 10 years of prison and repayment of all fraudulent benefits.
The fingerprint initiative will easily allow officials to crosscheck recipients with their enrollment in public programs.
Many residents support the idea like Evelyn Valley.
“A lot of people need it and some people take advantage. I think fingerprinting and drug testing too, anything they can do to get those people out who abuse the system,” Valley said.
The initiative unanimously passed the Massachusetts house 158-0. It is now headed to the Senate and later to the governor for approval or veto.
What do you think of fingerprinting welfare recipients?
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