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Mass. House approves welfare reform legislation

BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has approved its version of a bill aimed at overhauling the state’s welfare system.

The $20 million package advanced on a unanimous vote Thursday night after House lawmakers considered several amendments.

The bill would create a “pathways to self-sufficiency” program that seeks to match adult welfare recipients with employment or job training opportunities.

House leaders said it also seeks to further the state’s crackdown on fraudulent use of electronic benefit cards and other welfare abuse.

Speaker Robert DeLeo says the measure strikes a balance between helping lift people out of poverty while also stamping out fraud.

The bill will now be sent to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences with welfare legislation passed by the Senate in June.

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