March 27, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

West Virginia Values Work and Integrity in Public Assistance

Contact: Whitney Munro
239-244-8808 x 18

The Opportunity Solutions Project applauds West Virginia Governor Jim Justice for signing House Bill 4001, officially enacting measures to fight welfare fraud and move able-bodied adults from welfare to work.

“With his signature, Governor Justice has joined the legislature in making clear that the power of work and the integrity of public assistance programs are top priorities in West Virginia,” said Christie Herrera of the Opportunity Solutions Project (OSP).

House Bill 4001 sets out a clear timeline for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to phase-in the federal work requirement for able-bodied adults on food stamps. The legislation also empowers DHHR to pursue an aggressive plan to pursue fraud, waste, and abuse of public assistance program resources.

HB4001 goes into effect June 8, 2018.

“The passage of HB4001 will position West Virginia as a national leader in addressing waste, fraud, and abuse,” Herrera said. “DHHR will have new tools to preserve resources for the truly needy and ensure those receiving benefits are actually eligible to receive them.”

These reforms would not have been possible without the tireless work of DHHR Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples and the many legislators who helped to make passage of HB4001 a reality, including lead sponsor Delegate Tom Fast, House Speaker Tim Armstead, House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, and Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld. We would also like to thank House Health Chairman Joe Ellington, House Health Vice Chairman Amy Summers, House Judiciary Chairman John Shott, House Judiciary Vice Chairman Roger Hanshaw, Senate Health Chairman Tom Takubo, Senate Health Vice Chairman Mike Maroney, and Senator Ed Gaunch, who paved the way for HB 4001’s success by advancing similar legislation last year.

Opportunity Solutions Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that seeks to improve lives by advocating for public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and a limited, accountable government.