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Massachusetts Senate Leaders Unveil Welfare Reform Bill


Leaders in the Massachusetts Senate have unveiled a bill to overhaul the welfare system.  WAMC”s Paul Tuthill reports

   State Senate President Therese Murray said the welfare system is stagnant and needs to put more emphasis on helping people get a job.  The bill would require people applying for benefits  to seek work, first on their own, and then with state assistance through a new program.   There are anti-fraud measures, such as requiring photo IDs on EBT cards.   John Polanowizc, who oversees the welfare system, said he’s willing to work with legislative leaders on reforms.

   Welfare reforms have received new regency because of a couple of critical reports, including one from the state auditor who found benefits had been paid to more than a thousand people who are deceased.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.