Pennsylvania Welfare Reform Bills Before Wolf — We got the below email, yesterday, from Nathan Benefield at Commonwealth Foundation:
Great news! Late last night (Oct. 17), the General Assembly sent two game-changing welfare reform bills to Governor Wolf’s desk! The Senate passed Rep. Matt Dowling’s HB 2138 (30-19) and the House passed Sen. Mike Regan’s SB 6 (124-62).
Thank you to the representatives and senators that voted for this legislation!
HB 2138 will help healthy, childless adults enrolled in Medicaid move from dependency to self-sufficiency through work or volunteer requirements. Similar reforms to food stamp programs in Kansas and Maine had incredible results: Beneficiaries saw their incomes more than double.
Exactly one year before this vote, we published a groundbreaking report on work requirements by our welfare policy expert, Elizabeth Stelle. This research was cited countless times by lawmakers supporting the bill, and we are proud that the work we’ve put in this past year—and long before—can help pave a path to prosperity for thousands of our fellow Pennsylvanians.
The second bill, SB 6, protects the integrity of the welfare system by addressing waste and abuse. SB 6 limits benefits for drug felons and non-compliant sex offenders, and increases penalties for welfare fraud, amongst other reforms.
If Gov. Wolf wants to help hundreds of thousands of able-bodied Pennsylvanians overcome generational poverty and protect the welfare system for those who need it most, he should sign these bills immediately.
We’re so glad to have your support as we continue advocating for reforms that offer everyone the opportunity for independence.
When Commonwealth Foundation celebrates we all should. We are not holding our breath, though, about Wolf signing those bills.
Hopefully Scott Wagner can make something of it.