Lyons Votes for EBT Reform

Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) votes to protect reforms of EBT system.

Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) joined all House Republicans and 121 House Democrats in a strong bi-partisan show of support for reforming the state's EBT card program. On Wednesday, July 11, more than 150 House members voted to strengthen legislation designed to reform the EBT card system by overriding Gov. Deval Patrick's veto of those sections of the state budget.

"This is the kind of broad-based bi-partisan cooperation we can all be proud of," Lyons said. "I hope Republicans and Democrats continue working together to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse throughout state government. The Patrick Administration too often puts its effort into thwarting reforms and blocking transparency. In this case, the House of Representatives stood up and voted for government reform and for our taxpaying families.

“These reforms," Lyons continued, "are common sense measures that seek to reduce the excesses that are all too rampant in this $415 million cash benefit program. The purpose of the EBT program is to assist those in need during difficult times, not to use taxpayer dollars on non-essential purchases in jewelry stores and nail salons.”

Lyons said that this action represents his overall approach to reforming state government. "I represent the working families and struggling small business of the Merrimack Valley," Lyons emphasized. "Our taxpayers understand the importance of having a job, earning a living, and acting responsibly. That's why we must make certain that their every tax dollar is spent wisely.

"Taxpaying families," Lyons stressed, "are contributing more than their share. It's time for the state bureaucracy to share some of the sacrifice, as well."    

Lyons concluded by noting that the fight for government reform and transparency demands constant work and vigilance. “Although we successfully overrode this governor's veto," Lyons said, "the reform of the Electronic Benefits Transfer system is far from resolved. We will continue to work for more stringent safeguards that must be enacted to prevent the waste, fraud, and abuse that are endemic to the current system.”

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Bob July 16, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Let me see... NH - 424 X $100 = $42,400 per year MA - 200 X $61,100 = $12 MILLION PLUS That is salary not per diem and committees pay. BTW - ONE Mass Legislator get's paid more with salary, committee and per diem in one year, than the entire NH legislature in 2 years!
Bryan McGonigle July 16, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Just FYI, Florida tried the "welfare recipient drug testing" idea recently and it didn't save Florida any money. In fact it ended up costing them almost $100,000. The state has to reimburse applicants for the drug test (which cost $30 each) and 98% of the people passed it, so the state ended up having to pay for 98% of the drug tests to get 2% rejected. The end result, after you compare the cost of the program with the savings in rejecting the 2% that failed the drug test, was a deficit of about $45,000 out of the state's funds. And the program didn't see any change in applications either so it didn't deter people from seeking welfare.
Janellen27 July 16, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Sarah, I know that, and I'm willing to bet everyone knows which "real" store I'm referring to, including yourself.
Janellen27 July 16, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I actually did talk to Lyons, myself, about the very topics we are discussing, and more. told him he could place a sign on my lawn. I only hope he keeps his word about what he says he stands for and what he says he'll do.
Bob July 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Bryan, I need to look at the Florida numbers but if your 2% rejected rate is correct, that would save @$8.3 Million in Massachusetts based on the $415 Million tag in the article. It should have saved Florida @$4 Million if the numbers from a Tampa Times article are correct which is $35 per test per month for 1,500 recipients max. ($630,000 per year cost) I need to find more in depth numbers because it doesn't sound right to me. BTW - Why is Massachusetts paying @$415 Million a year in welfare benefits and Florida, with roughly 3X's the people, pays @$173 Million? Hmmmmmmmm...


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