Reese, Krieger Host House Republican Policy Committee Hearing Focused on Welfare Fraud in Pennsylvania

Staring in the face of a $1.23 billion budget deficit and in continuing efforts to cut state spending, Reps. Mike Reese (Fayette/Westmoreland) and Tim Krieger (R-Westmoreland) hosted a House Republican Policy Committee hearing on welfare fraud and abuse at the Norvelt Volunteer Fire Department Roosevelt Hall in Mount Pleasant on Wednesday. The committee is chaired by Rep. Stan Saylor (R-York). 

“The testimony we heard from people who see this on a near-daily basis was very compelling and underscores the fact that we as a Legislature must act to curb this abuse of hard-earned tax dollars,” said Reese. “The drive to cut and control spending has been handcuffed by various interests over the past few years, and we are serious in our effort to eliminate, once and for all, the gaming of the social service system. This hearing brought the point home with examples of fraud in Westmoreland County. The time has come for action on this issue, as the taxpayers of Pennsylvania can no longer afford to tolerate the steps taken by people to take money and services that they are not entitled to. That type of dishonesty and criminal activity must no longer be the norm.” 

“The purpose of this policy hearing is not just to understand that welfare fraud is occurring in Pennsylvania, but more importantly to identify concrete actions to eliminate it,” said Krieger.   “The welfare system we now have creates the wrong incentives, while we cannot force able-bodied people to work, we should not make it easier for them not to work.” 

“Pennsylvania's welfare system is intended to provide a helping hand to those who are truly in need.  It is not intended to provide a permanent lifestyle to those who refuse to work,” said Saylor.  “Given Pennsylvania’s difficult financial situation, it is more important than ever that we eliminate waste and fraud wherever we find it.  That includes the welfare system.  If there are individuals abusing the system, they should be removed from the welfare rolls so our limited resources can go to those who truly need assistance.”   

Appearing at the hearing were the owner and employees of JK’s County Market in Mount Pleasant, including John Krystyniak, president of CMC Inc.; Dolores Galinda, customer service manager; Kim Snyder, front office teller; and Janet Lowden, cashier.  The hearing also featured testimony from Elizabeth Stelle, research associate with the Commonwealth Foundation. The witnesses supplied first-hand information on how welfare cards are misused along with other examples. 

The House Republican Policy Committee has welfare reform legislation at the top of the agenda, and for more information, please visit

Rep. Mike Reese
59th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Raymond Smith
(717) 705-1834
Member Site:
Rep. Tim Krieger
57th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Ty McCauslin
(717) 772-9979
Member Site:

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