California GOP lawmakers seek hearing on food stamp fraud efforts

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013 - 12:41 pm

California Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff and a colleague have asked for a committee hearing to examine the state’s efforts to detect food stamp fraud.

Pointing to a story in The Sacramento Bee, Huff and Sen. Bill Emmerson, R-Hemet, said the state finds fraud in its CalFresh program at a rate much lower than the national average. The Bee reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been pushing the state Department of Social Services to step up its fraud enforcement for more than two years.

In a letter to Sen. Mark Leno, chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, the Republican senators wrote that problems with fraud enforcement aren’t new, as the California state auditor recommended changes in 2009. They asked Leno to hold a hearing that includes testimony from the Bureau of State Audits, counties with high and low rates of finding fraud, and district attorneys prosecuting such cases.

Huff and Emmerson wrote that the debate over food stamp cuts taking place in Congress has been fueled by concerns about waste and fraud. That debate means Leno should “act quickly to call an oversight hearing by the Senate Budget Committee.”

Leno, D-San Francisco, was not immediately available Wednesday morning to comment on the request.

Read more articles by Brad Branan

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