UPPITY REPUBLICANS MAY CHALLENGE DANIELS’ FSSA MESS

The leaders of the insurrection are two Republican who just might introduce legislation to halt the roll out of changes to Indiana’s welfare intake process.  And, of course, the Guv isn’t happy about it.   Evansville lawmakers, state Sen. Vaneta Becker and Rep. Suzanne Crouch, are considering introducing similar bills in the upcoming General Assembly session that would affect changes in the way the state deems people eligible for food stamps, Medicaid, and other benefits.

The bills would stop the Family and Social Services Administration from taking the changes to 33 Indiana counties that don’t have them yet until it fixes some problems.  Both draft legislations received preliminary approval from two legislative study committees last fall.

Becker and Crouch said replacing individual caseworkers assigned to each household’s case with call center representatives and multiple case workers was part of the problem. The lack of continuity among officials on the phone makes complaints harder to resolve, and clients have complained of long lines at remaining county welfare offices.  Constituents are unable to determine just who is to be helping them when they call.  They simply get whoever answers the phone at the call center and that has led to all kinds of duplication.

Daniels, whose administration outsourced welfare eligibility in a $1.16 billion, 10-year contract with IBM Corp., Affiliated Computer Services Inc. and other companies wasn’t pleased that lawmakers from his own party were leading legislative efforts to put his program on hold.  Wah!

Photo Credit:  WTHITV.com

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Daniels really could care less about the needs of FSSA constituents.  His goal?  To privatize – for profit – everything he can get his hands on – whether it works or not.  The private entity takes whatever cost cutting measures it can, leaving the struggling and needy constituents in the dust.

But the two Republicans are only the newest in a line of those expressing concerns  about the Guv’s rush to privatize the state  Family and Social Services Agency.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture expressed serious concerns in July 2008, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in May 2008 to challenge Daniels’ rush to privatization.

As this year’s long session approaches, Daniels is, ironically, facing a challenge to his privatization efforts from two of his own party members.  How uppity can you get!

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About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
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