The North Carolina House has approved a bill mandating background checks for welfare recipients.
The bill that passed 106-6 Thursday requires all social services employees to perform background checks to bar applicants and recipients with outstanding warrants or other active violations from welfare and food stamp programs. Employees would have to report them to law enforcement.
Bill sponsor Rep. Dean Arp, a Republican from Monroe, noted the federal government already prohibits giving public assistance to fleeing felons and others with active violations.
Arp appeased many opponents after providing assurances that county offices won't shoulder additional costs. Some Democrats previously expressed concern about creating new burdens for social services employees and the perception that the bill unfairly singles out poor people for distrust.
The bill now heads to the Senate.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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