Wisconsin Governor Announces 6 Ways to Fight Public Aid Fraud

Saying his actions will speak louder than his words, Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday vowed to step up oversight of public assistance programs, ordering the state health department to implement six strategies to combat fraud.
September 20, 2013

Saying his actions will speak louder than his words, Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday vowed to step up oversight of public assistance programs, ordering the state health department to implement six strategies to combat fraud.

Among the policy changes: reinstating asset limits for people seeking food benefits; requiring people who report they are self-employed to submit tax returns; improving data communication among all state departments; and creating a fraud prevention task force.

"We don't want to in any way keep people from getting assistance that is warranted, that they're legitimately qualified for, that they need at the time, but that shouldn't be our overriding focal point," Walker said. "It should be on hitting that balance...and making sure we're good stewards of taxpayer dollars."

Walker's announcement comes in the wake of recent Journal Sentinel investigations that uncovered how regulators fail to verify actual income when applicants claim to be self-employed or make no money. That failure opens the door to fraud in every taxpayer-supported assistance program in the state.

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