Oklahoma lawmaker questions welfare fraud legislation

A legislator called Senate Bill 456 a continuing “war on the poor” being waged by the GOP-controlled Oklahoma Legislature. The House of Representatives Government Modernization committee passed the bill by an 8-1 vote.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: March 29, 2013
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People now call a DHS hotline, but they have to give their names.

“People may see stuff and a lot of times the biggest hesitation among people is their desire to be anonymous,” he said.

The measure calls for DHS to post signs in every DHS county office. SB 456 now goes to the House Calendar Committee, which will decide if it will get a hearing in the House.

Hulbert said he didn't know if there was widespread fraud involving people receiving federal assistance.

“I'll speculate that there probably is and I hear of people,” he said. “But have I personally witnessed it? I haven't.”

Hulbert said another bill that asks people to call a hotline to report providers who may be fraudulently providing benefits wasn't ready for Thursday's hearing. It will be presented next week, he said.

Morrissette said the biggest fraud involving federal assistance occurs by some providers, but GOP lawmakers aren't going after them “because their buddies are providing the services.”