The Michigan House last week overwhelmingly approved legislation to reduce welfare fraud by making it easier for the state to stop dead people and convicted felons from getting Bridge Cards, state Rep. Dan Lauwers announced. House Bill 4042 requires the state Department of Human Services to use the U.S. Social Security Death Index database to determine if a Bridge Card recipient is deceased. The legislation also ensures that the state would perform a monthly match of incarceration records, and deactivate the card of recipients who are in prison. ”This is a common-sense effort to make sure the state keeps a watchful eye on who receives a Bridge Card, and whether it’s the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “Eliminating abuse and fraud in our state’s welfare system is essential in order to make sure those who are truly in need get assistance. We also must make sure taxpayer dollars are used in the most effective way possible.” If a Bridge Card has been issued to a deceased recipient, the department would be required to terminate Bridge Card access under the legislation. HB 4042 now goes to the Senate for consideration.