Calls to toughen oversight of Massachusetts' welfare system are growing at the Statehouse.

    A group of Beacon Hill lawmakers led by House and Senate Republicans are stepping up pressure on negotiators to include in the state budget restrictions designed to guarantee that welfare benefits are reserved for the state's neediest residents.

    Also Monday, state Treasurer Steven Grossman said he's continuing to push for changes that he said would require state-of-the-art anti-fraud safeguards and new restrictions on the use of electronic benefits transfer cards.

    The renewed pressure follows the release of an audit last week that concluded millions of dollars in questionable payments were made to people who were dead or otherwise ineligible.

    Democratic Senate President Therese Murray has already said she plans to file a comprehensive bill to tackle issues plaguing the welfare system. (Associate Press)