Argall: State budget prioritizes welfare fraud investigation efforts

HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania overwhelmingly approved a spending plan for Fiscal Year 2018-19 today that keeps increases below the rate of inflation while investing in vital state programs.

Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) supported the plan in part because of additional resources aimed at cracking down on welfare waste, fraud and abuse.

“This budget prioritizes additional funds to combat welfare fraud and abuse through the Office of Inspector General,” he said. “This new funding will protect the integrity of our public assistance programs for those who genuinely need it and punish those who try to game the system for their own benefit.”

Argall is sponsoring a measure that would require the Office of Inspector General to hire additional welfare fraud investigators. According to the OIG’s latest annual report, for each dollar invested in investigations, taxpayers realize $12 in cost savings.

“This program essentially pays for itself and finds savings for taxpayers – it’s a win for everyone involved, except for the welfare cheats. Local residents continue to tell me welfare fraud is a major concern and would like more resources for combatting it,” he added.

The spending plan goes to Governor Wolf for his approval. The governor has yet to sign a state budget into law since coming into office in 2015.