Michigan Senate pushes to ban lottery winners from receiving welfare

Leroy Fick was allowed to stay on welfare, despite winning $2 million. / file photo

In May of this year, NBC25 introduced you to Leroy Fick, a $2 million Make Me Rich lottery winner from Bay County who was allowed to stay on Michigan welfare.

The story sparked attention both with NBC25 viewers and with state leaders, and now the Michigan Senate is pushing legislation forward that would prevent something like this from happening again.

Sen. Joe Hune, of Hamburg Township, states, Public assistance is a safety net for Michigan residents who are in need. Unfortunately, some people exploit loopholes in the law that allow them to collect these benefits, even after winning the state lottery. Thankfully, this legislation will close those loopholes and put an end to this corrupt behavior.

Under the Senate Bill, the Department of Human Services would be required to apply an asset test to those seeking food stamps or other forms of welfare, to ensure that they don TMt have more than $5,000 in countable assets. This would also apply to lottery winnings, whether the applicant receives the money in payments or a lump sum. Currently, that is not the case and is the reason that Fick was allowed to stay on the welfare system.

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