State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
Nearly $33 million in Wisconsin FoodShare benefits were spent in other states during fiscal year 2010-11, according to an audit released today by the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau, including purchases in all 50 states and three U.S. territories.
There may be reasons for FoodShare benefits used in another state. In some cases, the nearest grocery store may be in another state. Purchases at the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas, Guam, New York, and California raise fraud red flags. For much of Jim Doyle’s time as governor, there was little effort to unearth fraud or overpayments within the FoodShare program. During fiscal year 2006-07 the state Department of Health Services recovered just $1,920 in FoodShare overpayments. In fiscal year 2010-11, the number jumped to more than $400,000. Clearly, there is fraud in the system and it can be corrected.
Going forward, Wisconsin must continue to root out fraud in its public assistance programs to ensure the people most needing of the benefits receive the benefits and that taxpayers are not on the hook for fraudulent expenses.
Another excellent job by the Legislative Audit Bureau.