Common Sense Caucus Supports Path to Prosperity
HARRISBURG – Members of the newly formed Common Sense Caucus (CSC) participated in a state Capitol news conference Tuesday to discuss and support a package of legislation designed to reform Pennsylvania’s welfare system. The package, which consists of more than one dozen bills, addresses a variety of issues ranging from employment incentives and child support protection to residency and work requirements.

CSC members in attendance, Reps. Cris Dush (R-Jefferson/Indiana), Seth Grove (R-Dover), Dawn Keefer (R-Dillsburg), Dan Moul (R-Adams), Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York Township), Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) and Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin), issued the following statement after the news conference:

“We wholeheartedly endorse this package of legislation because it paves a pathway to prosperity for welfare recipients and offers incentives to discourage reliance on public assistance. With expenditures for public health and welfare accounting for nearly 39 percent of our state budget, these bills also address budget cost drivers, one of the four key principles that serve as the foundation of our work.

“The problem of unemployment does not consist solely of workers looking for jobs. Hearings held recently around the state discovered one too many business owners who were having difficulty finding employees.

“Yes, the package includes legislation calling for a work requirement. It also features a bill that encourages businesses to hire workers who are receiving welfare. Safeguards for the system include protecting it from individuals who attempt to collect benefits in more than one state and those who try to game the system by accessing benefits of the deceased.

“Welfare is intended to be a bridge to independence, not a foundation for dependence. These bills are not part of an attack on welfare. They promote self-sustainability for welfare recipients and fiscal responsibility for our citizens by ensuring the tax dollars spent on human services reach only those Pennsylvanians who truly needed them.”

The CSC holds four key principles that serve as the foundation of its work:

1. Accountability and transparency: Policies that provide taxpayers easy access to information and codify accountability mechanisms for all Commonwealth spending.

2. Regulatory reform: Drive policies that require legislative oversight, ensuring legislative intent remains intact and bureaucrats merely facilitate and do not legislate.

3. Target budget cost drivers: Policies that address and reign in rapidly growing budget line-items, such as ever-expanding welfare enrollment and unchecked educational programming.

4. Solid academic programming inclusive of options for all career paths: Foster policies respectful of individual needs and desires, as opposed to the current one-size-fits-all, academic efforts; irrespectively forcing a collegiate pursuit.

The Common Sense Caucus
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Scott Little

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