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State Senate to Tackle Welfare Overhaul

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Senate leaders are proposing a sweeping overhaul of the state’s welfare system that seeks to put more welfare recipients back in the workforce while reducing fraud and waste. 

Under the bill outlined on Monday, able-bodied people would be required to seek work _ first on their own and later with the help of state-sponsored job training programs _ before they can collect benefits. 

Democratic Senate President Therese Murray said the bill would also remove incentives for people to stay on welfare rather than return to work.  The bill would require photo identification on electronic benefit transfer cards used by welfare recipients, and increase the number of state welfare fraud investigators. 

Gov. Deval Patrick called the Senate proposal “quite encouraging” but declined comment on specific provisions.  (Associated Press)

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