To get Michigan back on the path to economic prosperity, we need to do more with every taxpayer dollar. That’s why the Michigan Senate recently approved a comprehensive welfare reform package that limits the length of time benefits can be collected throughout a recipient’s life.
It is projected that these vital reforms will save Michigan taxpayers more than $65 million in the next fiscal year alone. Additionally, these measures will help ensure that welfare is safety net for people who really need it, not those who would bilk the system to avoid working.
House Bills 4409 and 4410 will reduce the welfare caseload by 12,600 cases statewide. Among other changes, the bills will:
- Permanently cap lifetime benefits at 48 months;
- Increase the amount a beneficiary is allowed to earn in a job and still qualify for assistance;
- Prohibit assistance from being used for lottery tickets, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and illegal activities;
- Require the state to verify an applicant’s immigration status for non-U.S. citizens; and
- Exempt cases that are child-only or for adults older than 65.
The bills were approved earlier by the House of Representatives with a bipartisan majority. I hope that the governor signs these proposals into law quickly.
Sen. Joe Hune represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.