I am writing in response to your June 9 editorial “Zeroing in on benefits fraud helps protect safety net.” You are correct that we must protect the safety net for the truly needy. Allowing the fraud to happen only hurts those who are in need.
In your editorial you give the state auditor much praise for her pointing out the problems in the system. There should be bipartisan recognition on this issue. State Representative Shaunna O’Connell, Republican of Taunton, has been fighting for reforms for more than 2½ years. She has been a real leader on the issue. Your paper should not be ignoring her.
O’Connell grew up in public housing and knows how difficult it can be to put food on the family table. She wants to protect the needy by ending the abuse of the system that angers the taxpayers. One simple idea is to take the fraud monitoring unit out of the Department of Transitional Assistance and put it into the inspector general’s office. The Department of Transitional Assistance has proved that it doesn’t self-monitor. This would be a common-sense reform.
I hope that in the future your paper will give equal coverage to Republicans who have been leading on this issue.
The writer is national committeewoman for the Massachusetts Republican Party.