DES MOINES — Legislation to ensure Iowans receiving public assistance are “truly eligible” was approved Tuesday by the House of Representatives Human Resources Committee of Democrats that said the cost of the bill would be greater than the savings.
“There’s a lot of good stuff in this bill,” said Rep. Tom Jeneary, R-Le Mars, explaining that the House Study’s Bill 698 would codify identity authentication practices and the eligibility of applicants for public assistance programs.
If adopted, applicants would need to go through an authentication process to confirm their identity through a knowledge-based questionnaire consisting of financial and personal questions designed to help those without a bank account or those with limited access. to financial and banking services or who do not have an established credit history.
In addition, HSB 698 would require the Department of Social Services to cross-check, at least monthly, information about Iowans enrolled in a food assistance program or Medicaid using federal databases. including Social Security, the Ministries of Health and Social Services, Housing and Urban Planning. Development and the FBI. The eligibility of each member of a household should be verified using national public records, including records of real estate and automobiles, boats, planes, luxury vehicles, and any other vehicles belonging to the applicant. The bill would require anyone seeking child support to cooperate with the Child Support Enforcement Unit.
Rep. Kristin Sunde, D-West Des Moines, wondered if the investment was worth it. Looking at the experiences of other states, the return on investment has been poor. Sunde also pointed out that the committee does not know how many DHS staff will be needed and at what cost.
“I feel like there are more hoops to jump through,” Sunde said. “I’m just concerned that at a time when grocery prices are skyrocketing and we know that (food stamp) recipients are already seeing their benefits reduced, I just want to move forward with the utmost caution because, at the end besides, I don’t want children to be negatively affected.
The committee voted 13 to 8 to move the bill to the full House.
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