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Legislators Want to See Aid Recipients Tax Returns

JACKSON, MS (Ben Caxton) — On Tuesday Mississippi senators passed a bill to let the state auditor see tax returns to verify the income of people enrolled in Medicaid or other public assistance programs. Supporters said the plan is designed to ensure people are not receiving benefits if they earn too much money but critics say the state is looking for waste in the wrong place. The debate took place days after the indictment of six people, including the former director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, on charges tied to misspending of millions of public dollars meant for the poor. Recipients would not have to provide documents themselves and not all recipients’ tax information would be checked. The state Department of Revenue would give the auditor access to tax returns from a sampling of people in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs.

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