MA State Reps Lyons & Lombardo Call for Transparency and Accountability for Individual Benefits

February 3, 2013 in Accountability, Fraud, MA, Transparency

Jim LyonsJanuary 31, 2013  978-362-3290 BOSTON, MA – Representatives Marc Lombardo (Billerica) and James (Jim) Lyons (Andover) today announced that they have proposed legislation that calls for transparency and accountability for the expenditures paid for by the hardworking taxpayers and businesses of the Commonwealth. Lombardo and Lyons filed 4 bills recently that would provide greater detail on how taxpayer dollars are being spent in the Commonwealth, as well as ensuring greater accountability for those dollars.  House Docket 3174 would require the Administration to file a report that would detail the total amount of the state budget that is being used to fund individual, family, and other benefits and expenditures and the residency and eligibility status of the individuals receiving these benefits. House Docket 3176 would require the administration to file a report that would detail the amount of money being spent through the Health Safety net and the residency and eligibility status of the individuals receiving this benefit. An Act Relative to Proof of Residency, HD2911, would bar self-declaration of residency from being accepted as a valid form of proof of residency for people seeking taxpayer-funded individual benefits from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Finally, House Docket 3293 would restrict all public benefits to only citizens and legal-residents of the Commonwealth as defined by federal law. “We are trying to find out where the taxpayer’s dollars are being spent and who is receiving benefits,” said Representative Lombardo.  “In light of the Inspector General’s recent report that found $25 Million in welfare abuse, it appears our legislation not only make sense, but is absolutely needed. The lack of oversight throughout the Patrick Administration and state government is nothing short of shocking and is a result of, at best, incompetence, or at worst, the administration willfully ignoring the law to advance an agenda.” Representative Lyons added, “Before the Governor asks the hardworking and struggling families and businesses of the Commonwealth for more tax dollars, we should know where every penny is being spent in our state budget. We need to ensure that individuals and families who play by the rules and need help are the ones receiving benefits, and those who do not play by the rules do not receive tax dollars from the hardworking taxpayers of Massachusetts.” Lyons and Lombardo noted the importance of ensuring the proper and efficient use of every tax dollar, particularly as the Governor is seeking massive tax increases. “We need reform in state government, not unending tax hikes,” said Lyons. “Every day news reports chronicle the scandals in the Administration’s drug labs, lack of oversight of pharmaceutical manufacturing, and political job hires.  It’s time to put a halt to these failures.” ###