McAuliffe vetoes bill that would create obstacles to public assistance

(MGN Online)

RICHMOND, Va. (WSET) -- Governor McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that he said would create obstacles to public assistance.

McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 2092 that he said would add costly, time-consuming, and unnecessary steps when the Department of Social Services evaluates an applicant’s eligibility for public assistance.

"While I strongly support the policy goal of maintaining the integrity of the Commonwealth’s public assistance programs, this bill is ill-conceived and a diversion of limited state resources," McAuliffe wrote.

The bill would require the Department of Social Services to obtain information from the Social Security Administration, the Virginia Employment commission, and the Internal Revenue Service, which the Department already does.

However, according to McAuliffe, the bill would also require the Department to obtain an entire criminal history for each applicant.

" A full criminal history is not required under federal law for public assistance programs and is a poor use of public resources," McAuliffe wrote.

This bill also requires the Department of Social Services to review Virginia Lottery records to determine if applicants received lottery winnings that would disqualify them from eligibility. Applicants are already required to report all sources of income and resources pursuant to program rules. The Department already has the ability to electronically verify the assets of applicants through data exchange with banks. Spending additional state resources prior to better determining whether the cost exceeds the benefit is a misguided use of state resources.

McAuliffe wrote that House Bill 2092 does not reflect Virginia's values.

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