Representative Jim Lyons (R-Andover) joined all House Republicans and 121 House Democrats in a strong bi-partisan show of support for reforming the state's EBT card program. On Wednesday, July 11, more than 150 House members voted to strengthen legislation designed to reform the EBT card system by overriding Gov. Deval Patrick's veto of those sections of the state budget.
"This is the kind of broad-based bi-partisan cooperation we can all be proud of," Lyons said. "I hope Republicans and Democrats continue working together to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse throughout state government. The Patrick Administration too often puts its effort into thwarting reforms and blocking transparency. In this case, the House of Representatives stood up and voted for government reform and for our taxpaying families.
“These reforms," Lyons continued, "are common sense measures that seek to reduce the excesses that are all too rampant in this $415 million cash benefit program. The purpose of the EBT program is to assist those in need during difficult times, not to use taxpayer dollars on non-essential purchases in jewelry stores and nail salons.”
Lyons said that this action represents his overall approach to reforming state government. "I represent the working families and struggling small business of the Merrimack Valley," Lyons emphasized. "Our taxpayers understand the importance of having a job, earning a living, and acting responsibly. That's why we must make certain that their every tax dollar is spent wisely.
"Taxpaying families," Lyons stressed, "are contributing more than their share. It's time for the state bureaucracy to share some of the sacrifice, as well."
Lyons concluded by noting that the fight for government reform and transparency demands constant work and vigilance. “Although we successfully overrode this governor's veto," Lyons said, "the reform of the Electronic Benefits Transfer system is far from resolved. We will continue to work for more stringent safeguards that must be enacted to prevent the waste, fraud, and abuse that are endemic to the current system.”