Welfare verification wins initial approval in Missouri House

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Legislation requiring a private company to scrutinize Missouri’s welfare rolls has won initial approval in the House.

Under the bill endorsed Tuesday, the state would hire a company to check people’s eligibility for programs such as food stamps. The company would flag cases for state employees to investigate.

Bill sponsor Rep. Marsha Haefner said the proposal could save more than $20 million over the next three years by eliminating waste and fraud.

Some Democrats voiced support for the bill, though others said the Legislature should instead make the funding available for state employees to do the work.

Another House vote is needed to send the bill to the Senate. A similar bill already has passed out of a Senate committee.

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