(KMOV) – Over the past two years, News 4 has tracked the questionable use of Missouri state welfare funds.
News 4 has documented tens of thousands of dollars spent on everything from casinos in Las Vegas to liquor stores purchases in Hawaii and Florida.
Florissant State Representative Keith English wants to add photo identification to all electronic benefits transfers, or EBT cards, in an effort to cut down on the thousands of lost through program fraud.
English proposed a law to require anyone eligible to use an EBT card to have their photo on it.
“I think it’s absolutely fair, I really think it’s unfair to somebody to use someone else’s card or to sell their card to somebody else,” English said. “I just think this is a great idea.”
The change would require a waiver from the Federal Government.
An official with the Missouri Grocers Association told News 4, those waivers are hard to come by.
English says eight states have already received waivers to add photos to EBT cards.
“I know that other states, when they asked the Federal Government to allow them to do this on the food stamp card, it cut fraud up to three percent. Three percent in tax dollars would be hundreds of thousands of dollars,” English added.
English does not want to cut services, but rather make sure those people who need it are getting it and those who don’t need it are not able to slip through the system.
It would cost $100,000 to set up the identification program and less than $20,000 a year after that to maintain it.
English told News 4 the bill has bi-partisan support and it could go to the Missouri Senate on Tuesday.