Republicans Determined to Stop Food Stamp Abuse by Michigan Students

Michigan Republicans contend that the majority of Michigan college students are abusing the Bridge Card system, a food stamp program. Up to 18,000 students received the aid last year, and house Republicans, alongside the Department of Human Services, will cut students off from Bridge Card, starting in April.

“We’re ready to extend a helping hand to any citizen who is truly in need – including college students who care for young children and are taking the right steps toward becoming self-sufficient,”  DHS Director Maura Corrigan said in a statement. “But those who don’t meet federal guidelines won’t be able to take advantage of what is meant to be a temporary safety net program.”

The reported abuse stems from claims that students who are eligible for the assistance use the card for food and use their spending money from their well-off parents to pay for parties and alcohol. Students can receive up to $200 a month from the program.

Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville, the chairman of a House subcommittee that  oversees spending for the state Department of Human Services, said: “It’s an epidemic. You can get this just by (applying) on the Internet.”

Though Agema is not sure how many students are abusing their Bridge Card, he fears that solvent students are eating away at the DHS budget. He also expressed his plans to watch DHS’s spending closely in hopes to cut out waste and find other ways to save.

I, personally, think it will be hard for DHS to determine who is really needy and who is abusing the system. Yes, it’s true that some of these students come from well-heeled families, but how can DHS possibly know how much assistance they are receiving from their parents. What’s worrisome is that students who truly need the help may be turned away on account of the state’s rampage to save money.  Don’t get me wrong, I think abusing government aid is disgraceful, I just hope DHS isn’t cutting off those who are truly in need of such assistance.

Via The Lansing State Journal

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