Archive for Monday, March 24, 2014

Capitol Briefing: Benefits card photos panned; Fort Hays State presidential finalists selected

March 24, 2014


Benefits card photo plan panned

A bill that would require the photograph of a public assistance recipient to be placed on the Kansas Benefits card got a hearing, but was essentially described as unworkable by an official from the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

State Sen. Michael O'Donnell, R-Wichita, said he had SB 414 drafted because of reports of stolen or illegally sold benefits cards. The electronic benefits card is used for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, often referred to as food stamps.

But Kathe Decker, deputy secretary for DCF, said the cards are issued to families, and if a parent's picture were on it, that may prevent a child from being able to use it to buy groceries.

In addition, the bill had a large fiscal note. DCF estimated it would have required $846,817 for five new positions to photograph current assistance recipients and new recipients, 38 cameras and other costs.

Fort Hays State presidential finalists selected

Five individuals have been selected as finalists for the presidency of Fort Hays State University, the Kansas Board of Regents announced.

The name of each finalist will be announced one day prior to each of their visits to FHSU over the next few weeks.

A new president to replace Ed Hammond, who is retiring after 27 years, is scheduled to assume office this summer.

Quotes of the week:

"Charter schools were not a part of the negotiations with Senate leaders and the governor." Statement by House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell.

57 minutes later: "The piece about charter schools was added in at the last moment at the request of a member and I take full responsibility for that decision." State Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton.

What's next:

8 a.m. Monday through Wednesday — School finance and budget deliberations in House Appropriations Committee, room 112-North.

9:30 a.m. Monday — Senate Ways and Means deliberations on capital improvements budget.


Jeanne Swearingen 4 years, 2 months ago

On the surface this sounds like a good way to eliminate Vision Card fraud, but as the article says there are times when family members are going to need to use the card. Also, there are elderly people who may need to have someone do their shopping.

It seems to me that all these efforts to stop fraud would cost a lot more money than the fraud. Some people obey the rules to the best of their ability while others see rules as a challenge. Honestly, I don't know what can be done about that.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 2 months ago

It occurred to me that the GOP attempts to control fraud are really just a diabolical PR campaign to convince people that welfare programs are mostly unnecessary because there are cheats abusing the programs. How about spending the money to by actually prosecuting fraud if there is any. Because showing the really isn't fraud wouldn't benefit the GOP's overall goal.

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