Wagner raises questions about use of cash welfare benefits

    Associated Press: Pennsylvania’s state fiscal watchdog says he can’t tell whether $5.2 million in cash welfare benefits was spent legally because state officials are refusing his requests for the records.

    Auditor General Jack Wagner said Wednesday the money was issued for out-of-state purchases or cash withdrawals in May 2010 by Pennsylvanians receiving public assistance.


    The nearly 95,000 transactions were made with electronic benefits cards. Wagner says he’s asked for the records from the Department of Public Welfare four times in the last 13 months, but received no cooperation.

    Wagner has previously criticized the department for being unable to justify some cash reimbursements to job-seeking welfare recipients. In the past, department officials have defended their management of the benefits and said they were working to correct any errors that Wagner identified.

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