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Mass. House to debate $20M welfare overhaul bill

November 6, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — House lawmakers are planning to debate a $20 million welfare overhaul bill.

The legislation up for consideration Wednesday seeks to curb fraud while improving access to job training programs.

The largest amount of the proposed new spending — $11 million — is designed to help the state Department of Career Services strengthen participation in work programs for those on welfare referred by the Department of Transitional Assistance.

The bill comes in the wake of increased scrutiny of the use of electronic benefits cards, which work much like bank-issued debit cards.

The bill calls for the recording and tracking of blank EBT cards to ensure their integrity.

The Massachusetts Senate in June approved its own welfare overhaul bill that seeks to move more people off public benefits and into jobs while also reducing fraud and abuse.

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