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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

 5:05 PM 

Senate endorses bill public assistance violation bill; onto the mining bill

The Senate has passed a bill to define intentional violations that could lead to individuals being banned from the W-2 program.

State law allows a W-2 agency to permanently deny benefits to anyone who intentionally violates W-2 statutes or related rules on three separate times, but those violations currently aren't defined in statute.

The bill would also establish six-month and twelve-month bans from the program for first and second violations, respectively.

Sen. Jon Erpenhach charged that the bill's authors don't have sufficient evidence of fraud in those programs, and that the state's poor would lose "everything" for just an allegation of fraud.

"We're getting tough on people who deliberately rip off taxpayers, and that sounds great," the Waunakee Dem said. "But this is a bazooka going after a very small problem."

Sen. Rich Zipperer, R-Pewaukee, charged that state agencies would make the determination and that they would have to determine intentional violations.

"To act like this is just being done indiscriminantly ... is, frankly, irresponsible," Zipperer said.

The bill passed 18-15, with Sen. Jim Holperin, D-Conover, joining Republicans in support.

We're now onto the Assembly mining bill, with a series of amendments pending.


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