COLUMBUS—State Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) today gave sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 17 in front of the Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee. This legislation will make sweeping changes to several of Ohio’s public assistance programs including Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps), unemployment compensation and Medicaid.
“I am proud to sponsor this long overdue piece of legislation,” Schaffer said. “Many Ohioans have lost jobs, health insurance, and are suffering food insecurity. They need help, and as long as we ignore the fraud and abuse, these crimes drain our programs of resources from those who need them.”
Among the proposed reforms, the bill will implement anti-fraud and anti-waste measures for state food stamp and Unemployment Compensation programs, as well as work requirements for Medicaid coverage. The legislation also proposes Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund integrity measures that will tighten the system to avoid fraudulent claims.
“Every fraudulent Unemployment Compensation claim is paid for by taxes on our businesses, businesses that are just scraping by to keep their doors open,” Schaffer said.
Additionally, the legislation proposes placing photo identification on SNAP food stamp EBT cards to reduce theft and fraud. Citing Obama Administration statistics, Schaffer pegged the annual food stamp fraud in Ohio at approximately $26.25 million.
“That's about 53 million apples, which would stretch five times from Cleveland to Cincinnati and back,” Schaffer said. "Placed side by side, the 53 million apples would stretch 2,486 miles along I-71, all denied to needy children and families throughout Ohio because of our lack of fraud-detection measures.”
The bill also requires reports that will include data on costs, recoveries, and improper payment rates to these programs. Data cross checks will also be implemented under the bill which will allow the Ohio Department of Medicaid and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to verify the eligibility of those utilizing the programs in an effort to curb abuse.
To watch today’s testimony on Senate Bill 17, click here.