Bill would set long prison sentences for welfare abusers in FL - FOX 35 News Orlando

Bill would set long prison sentences for welfare abusers in Florida

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Those who abuse Florida's welfare benefits system could soon see harsher punishments.

Fox News reports that a new bipartisan legislative effort would put violators behind bars for long prison sentences.

State Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Lecanto, is reportedly the bill's sponsor. He said the bill will ensure a penalty that fits the crime.

"Individuals who defraud our system and our taxpayers must be held accountable for their actions," Smith said.

Under the new proposal, those wrongfully receiving public assistance in the amount of $20,000 could spend up to 15 years in prison.

In turn, those ripping off Medicaid, food stamps, or any taxpayer-funded cash assistance programs for more than $100,000 could mean 30 years in prison, the equivalent of seriously hurting a law enforcement officer.

The bill is simply known as Public Assistance Fraud.

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