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Now Elise Hall is coming after welfare recipients…

6:56 AM EST on March 1, 2017

It turns out blocking equal pay isn't the only thing on the Hall's Pizza Kitchen menu.

Earlier this session, State Rep Elise Hall introduced HB 1270. Dubbed the "Welfare Reform Act of 2017," it will waste government time and resources to make quadruple-sure that the needy and poor in our state who receive Medicaid and food stamps are actually needy and poor.

Here are the details via a KFOR report by Abby Broyles:

The Welfare Reform Act of 2017 would dramatically increase how people are screened to receive Medicaid and SNAP benefits...

Under the proposed bill, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and DHS would be required to screen anyone who gets benefits every three months, to make sure they’re really eligible.

Right now, these checks happen once a year.

That's a relief. When I sit around thinking of ways to make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family, the first thing that comes to mind is cracking down on those social deviants who pretend to be poor just so they can get free food and healthcare...

"Hey kids, dirty up your clothes, mess up the house, and practice your hunger cries. The government will be here soon to perform an audit. I'm going to go park the new car down the street. Tell dad to hide in the closet."

"But mom, they were just here three months ago..."

"I know, I know. it's this new law..."

"But mom, I don't want to act poor!"

"You're going to be pretend to be poor and like it!!! Now put a dirty diaper on your baby brother and make him stand in the front yard alone and unattended. We need this money."

Seriously, though, how big of a problem is this? What percentage of people currently lie about their income and lifestyle just so they can get some free stuff from the government? Is the waste large enough to justify the added expense of quarterly audits? Considering she was the person who introduced this legislation, we can expect Elise Hall to have the answers... right?

In the committee meeting Tuesday, the bill’s author, Rep. Elise Hall, admitted she didn’t know of any fraud in our state.

Rep. Melodye Blancett asked her, “In the most recent audits these agencies have done, has there been evidence of substantial inappropriate receipt of these benefits?”

Rep. Hall replied, “I have not viewed these audits, so I’m not aware. Nobody from these agencies has come to visit with me. This was legislation looking at what other states have done.”

The bill is being pushed by a national group.

Rep. Elise Hall referenced someone in another state had won the lottery and was still on welfare.

Rep. Steve Kouplen asked, “Is there a state you can name and give specific details of how much it cost it to implement this program and how much it saved the state?”

Hall replied, “Like I said, I don’t have that data in front of me. I didn’t receive it before the committee,” Rep. Hall said.

DHS says it would have to hire another 400-500 employees to conduct these screenings, and it would cost $9-11 million.

Oh. She didn't look at any data, perform any research, or provide any example of a freeloader taking advantage of welfare benefits (something that's against the law). She just blindly introduced a bill that an out-of-state special interest group sent to her. That's nice. It's good to see who Elise Hall really serves when she's not dishing out soggy, cold pieces of pizza from her family's food truck.

Anyway, I guess it's safe to say that this is one of those trademarked Oklahoma bills that looks for a hardline solution to a mythological issue that really isn't a problem. As a result, expect to pass easily and become law. Once again, it's the Oklahoma Standard.

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