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Rep. Reed looks to get residents off welfare, back to work

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Buffalo: Rep. Reed looks to get residents off welfare, back to work
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Taxpayers in Chautauqua County will continue to shell out millions this year for those on welfare. As YNN's Mark Goshgarian tells us, Congressman Tom Reed was in Mayville Tuesday to pitch a plan he says will better serve those living in poverty and help put them to work.

MAYVILLE, N.Y. — Congressman Tom Reed held a discussion about poverty Tuesday to find out which social programs work and which ones don't.

"As we deal with precious hard working taxpayers dollars that are so limited, we want to make sure those dollars are being deployed in the most effective and efficient manner possible to get people back to work and on their own feet," said Rep. Tom Reed, R-29th District.

Those on the front lines are looking to break the welfare cycle and educate kids at an early age.

"The value of work, responsibility and money. When you get to be an adult you assume somebody else is going to provide for you, so if someone going to provide for you, why should I work," said Max Martin, Eastside YMCA branch manager.

"We need to redesign our services, we need to think about providing for a ladder toward economic security, not just financial independence from services," said Roberta Keller, Chautauqua Opportunities executive director.

Reed is introducing legislation holding state and federal leaders accountable for creating consistent welfare policy.

"That if you go to work, you're pulling yourself out of poverty, that we stand with you, you should be rewarded for that as opposed to be penalized for losing benefits," said Reed.

The discussion at the Gerace Office Building comes at a time when Reed is being held accountable for about $3,500 in interest and penalties he paid after making 38 late property tax payments since 2005.

"All tax bills have been paid in full," said Reed.

Reed says House rules prohibit him from making those payments, and relies on others to do it for him.

"I accept responsibility for it, and because of that obviously that can be a difficulty to make sure everything is taken care of in those business ventures," said Reed.

As for his legislation, Reed will introduce it when Congress reconvenes in September.

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