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Joint Finance Committee Defeats Bipartisan Amendment to Provide Additional Resources to Fight Child Care Fraud

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Robin J. Vos State Representative • 63rd Assembly District • Racine County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Further Information Contact: November 3, 2009

Rep. Robin Vos

(608) 266 9171

Joint Finance Committee Defeats Bipartisan Amendment to Provide Additional Resources to Fight Child Care Fraud

Mason Says Racine County Shouldn’t Get More Money

Madison…A bipartisan bill that takes initial steps to reform the fraudulent Wisconsin Shares child care program passed the Joint Finance committee today. Rep. Vos (R-Caledonia) says after months of deliberation on the problem, these first steps are laudable. However, he expressed frustration that Racine representative Cory Mason would vote against an amendment to appropriate $1 million to help counties root out more fraud.

“It’s outrageous to think that Rep. Mason would vote against sending additional resources to Racine County ,” declared Vos “when the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have so clearly shown that Racine County has a major problem with childcare fraud.”

Vos said it was clear after meeting with Milwaukee and Racine Counties that trying to reform Wisconsin Shares without providing adequate monetary resources for fraud detection would be difficult, if not impossible.

According to Vos, the Department of Children and Families has started off on the right track by convening a fraud detection taskforce, hiring 5 state employees to oversee fraud detection, and allocating some extra resources that will be distributed to counties. But he believes it’s also important to make sure there are enough local resources so people on the front lines are empowered to root out fraud.

“The Department of Children and Families has clearly seen that extra resources are needed, Racine County says extra resources are needed, and Sen. Lehman and I recognized that need by voting for this amendment today,” said Vos. “That’s why it’s so disappointing that Rep. Mason would vote against his own county”

During the Joint Finance Debate, Rep. Mason said he had real concerns with allocating more money to Racine County when they clearly had problems with enforcement and that he wasn’t inclined to give them more money until we get better fraud investigation from Racine County than Journal Sentinelreporters. Vos says the pressure on the County is a direct result of cuts made at the state level.

Assembly Bill 462 is expected to be taken up by both houses on Thursday. Rep. Vos says he will try again to convince the members of the Assembly to provide adequate resources to counties as well as to support amendments that focus on cracking down on recipients of child care subsidies, not just providers – the major focus of the current bill.

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