Welfare Cleanup

OHIO GOV. John Kasich is finally cleaning up a lingering and potentially costly issue.

Kasich has ordered overdue changes to the state’s welfare program. The first-term Republican’s edict is a prudent one as it will avoid the state from paying $136 million in federal fines.

The penalties were looming because the state has been failing to meet benchmarks for how many welfare participants are working or pursuing employment.

The mess is not of Kasich’s doing. Rather, it dates back to 2007, an oversight which speaks loudly of bureaucratic ineffeciency and a lack of accountability.

Kasich was under the gun to make the move, as today marks the deadline to get the program in line with federal guidelines. Once corrected, Ohio just needs to remain in compliance and the fines will be erased.

Now that the state has dodged a costly bullet, it should prove no problem adhering to the rules in place to avoid the imposition of the costly fines. Proper oversight by welfare officials should ensure that.

Kasich’s action brings with it a much smaller price tag as a separate Ohio welfare program will come into play.

The Ohio Works Now program will provide a small additional benefit of $10 per month to working families with children. The extra benefit will encompass one year and cost the state $7 million.

That is a small price to pay for what could have been a staggering blow to the Ohio budget.

Kasich has removed a black eye from the state’s welfare program. We stress that proper and constant oversight is needed to make sure it is a blemish that doesn’t resurface.