Vote on welfare reform pushed back

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– A vote to reform the welfare system won’t be decided for another week.  22News is working for you with what changes lawmakers are looking to change.

The state’s Department of Transitional Assistance states their intention is provide aid for low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, increase their incomes, and improve their quality of life.

Now, after months of negotiating, lawmakers are looking to revise that welfare system in several parts.  One looks to keep closer tabs on how EBT cards are spent and intends to put harsher penalties in place for store owners who knowingly allow EBT cards holders to buy things like cigarettes and lottery tickets.

One Western mass man told 22News he’d be interested in seeing a reduction in abuse of the system.

“Taking advantage of a situation, I know jobs are not plentiful right now and its hard to get employment, but it just infuriates me that people take advantage of the system,” Don Demers, from Chicopee, said.

The other part of the reform would dedicate $15 million for programs to get those on welfare into full time work.  That money would also go to programs to help recipients save money for first, last, and security deposits for rent.

A vote on The compromise bill was expected Thursday but was pushed back at least a week by Senate Republicans wanted more time to review that bill citing the final language wasn’t released until late Wednesday.

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