LANSING (WTVB) - A measure approved by the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee Wednesday would allow the Michigan Department of Human Services to collect money it is owed from lottery winners who have received state assistance. The bill introduced by state Rep. Ken Kurtz of Coldwater, who chairs the committee, would give DHS the authority to collect money from an individual's lottery winnings of $1,000 or more if that person has a debt owed to the department". Kurtz said in recent years, he’s worked with his colleagues to enact reforms to make sure state aid is not a permanent handout but a temporary hand up to those who are truly in need. Kurtz added that lawmakers need to make sure DHS has the tools needed to continue helping residents who are in need while protecting Michigan taxpayers from fraud and abuse. He said this legislation will help DHS operate in an efficient and effective manner for all Michigan residents.
Similar legislation was passed last year in relation to overpayment of unemployment insurance. Under the legislation, DHS would collect the lottery winnings on debts owed after the state Treasury and the Unemployment Insurance Agency have collected the debts they are owed from the winnings. House bill 4855 is now up for a vote in the full Michigan House.