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Senator Ryan Aument

New Law Strengthens Pennsylvania’s Top Fiscal Watchdog

The Office of Inspector General is on the front lines in the fight to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse of our tax dollars. Last year, the office helped save $91 million via its welfare fraud prevention efforts. A bill I authored that was signed into law this week will ensure this critical fiscal watchdog can play an even larger role in making sure people who cheat the system are identified and punished.

Previously, the Inspector General position existed only by Executive Order, meaning that it could be modified or eliminated at any time. My bill codifies the office in state law which not only makes it a permanent part of our state government, but now we can give it even more authority to find people who cheat government and taxpayers. For example, the new law provides subpoena powers and limited law enforcement authority, something the office currently does not have.

The end result will be a stronger and more effective Office of Inspector General, which I based on national best practices that promote independence for this important post. The law also includes qualifications the Inspector General must meet in order to serve in this capacity, as well as measures that allow for his or her removal from office in only the most extreme circumstances.

Passage of this law not only strengthens our efforts to identify and eliminate abuses of tax dollars, but also demonstrates exactly how the legislative process should work in Harrisburg. The original draft of the bill was rejected by Governor Wolf after passing both the Senate and the House last year. Rather than digging in our heels and refusing to compromise, Representative Mindy Fee and I worked diligently with all stakeholders to find a middle ground that was acceptable to all parties. The result is a new law that will undoubtedly benefit our state and its citizens.

More information about the bill is available here.

Governor Wolf signed into law a compromise bill this week that will ensure the Office of Inspector General can continue to safeguard our tax dollars.

Panel Focuses on Consequences of Opioid Addiction for Businesses

The heroin and opioid addiction crisis has created serious consequences for affected individuals, organizations and employers. On August 4, the Hempfield Business Coalition and the Lancaster County Anti-Heroin Task Force will offer a special panel for businesses dealing with awareness of opiate addiction in the workplace.

The panel will be held at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center at noon. Seating is limited, and an RSVP is required by July 26. More information is available online at www.HempfieldBusinessCoalition.org or by contacting Joy Lane (717-459-3815) or Dave Dumeyer (717-898-8529).

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