Contact Information 
District Office
1 West Broad Street
Suite 100
Hazleton, PA 18201
Phone: (570) 453-1344
Fax: (570) 459-3946
Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
.

Capitol Office
47 East Wing,
Main Capitol
PO Box 202116
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2116
Phone: (717) 260-6136
Phone (Toll-Free): 855-282-0611

Fax: (717) 782-2921
Toohil Welfare Reform Bill Heads to House Floor After Committee Approval
6/24/2014
HARRISBURG – Seeking to protect Pennsylvania taxpayers by targeting those who defraud the public welfare system, including fraud committed with ACCESS and EBT cards, Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) has sponsored legislation that would strengthen the penalties for such criminal behavior. House Bill 2058 is headed to the floor of the House of Representatives for consideration after its approval by the House Health Committee on Monday.

“My bill aims to ensure taxpayer dollars that go toward providing assistance to families and individuals who truly need it are not being wasted through fraudulent activity,” said Toohil. “The Commonwealth has a generous safety net to help residents during difficult times, which is why those who choose to abuse the public welfare system should be penalized appropriately.”

Toohil’s bill would establish that welfare fraud of $1,000 or more in cash benefits and/or food stamps is a third-degree felony. The crime would carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and/or a fine of $15,000. In addition, welfare fraud in the amount of $999 or less would result in a first-degree misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 upon conviction.

Current law grades welfare fraud of $999 or less as a third-degree misdemeanor, $1,000-$1,499 as a second-degree misdemeanor, $1,500-$2,999 as a first-degree misdemeanor, and $3,000 or more as a third-degree felony.

House Bill 2058 would clarify existing welfare fraud language to include the use of access devices (ACCESS cards or EBT cards). It also would provide that the Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, rather than the Pennsylvania Treasury, would be responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases of fraud.

Toohil introduced similar legislation (House Bill 1251) during the 2011-12 session, when it was approved by the House. The measure failed to come up for a vote in the Senate.

For more information on Toohil and her legislative priorities, visit www.RepToohil.com or www.Facebook.com/RepToohil

Representative Tarah Toohil
116th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
717.260.6136
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil
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