Sandwich—Today Tom Keyes, Republican candidate for State Senate in the Plymouth & Barnstable District, announced that he will push for strict reforms on the usage of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
“Today’s paper once again highlights the numerous problems we have with the EBT program. It is time to stop allowing recipients to use the cards like ATM cards. The funds are supposed to be used for necessities which can be purchased with the card. By allowing cash withdrawals, there is no oversight,” said Keyes. “I’m for accountability of our tax dollars.”
Today’s Boston Herald had an article about an EBT recipient abusing his benefits by cashing out funds for bail. This is not the first report of EBT abuses. Stories range from people selling the cards for drugs to using them for out of state vacations.
Keyes supports prohibiting the use of the cards out of state, ending cash withdrawals, requiring recipients to pay for replacement cards, revoking benefits if caught selling cards, tightening allowed purchases and reviewing the Department of Transitional Assistance waiver process.
“I believe that we should help people who are down in their luck. But the state has to hold people accountable for abusing the system. We owe it to the taxpayers,” said Keyes.
Two weeks ago the EBT Commission publicly released their report on reforms. The restrictions were minor and failed to stop cash advances which allow the recipients to purchase whatever they want wherever they want.
“The abuse of the EBT program has been going on for years. It is time for new leaders at the State House who will have the energy, determination, and integrity to fight for real reforms not window dressing,” added Keyes.
Keyes, 45, has served on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates and as a Sandwich Selectman. He has also served on numerous boards and committees including: Water Quality Review Committee, Sandwich Economic Development Committee as liaison of the Board of Selectmen , Cemetery Commission, Assembly of Delegates Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, the 21st Century Taskforce to review the Cape Cod Commission and draft operational changes to the County Commissioners, President of the Cape Cod Selectmen and Councilors’ Association and Board of Directors, and member of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Selectmen and Councilors’ Association.
Keyes founded his private practice, Keyes Quality Systems in 1998, providing consulting and contract services in management, ethics and compliance. He and his wife, Melissa have two daughters, Madelynn, and Julia.
For more information on Tom’s candidacy, voters can visit his website www.VoteKeyes.com.