Bill Says Public Benefits to Legal Residents Only (with exceptions)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A proposal that would require agencies to verify that applicants for public benefits are legal residents has passed the Senate.
The measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Jack Johnson of Franklin was approved 29-2 on Monday. The companion bill was to be heard on the House floor later in the day.
The proposal was delayed in the House last year because the cost of the measure was a little over $1 million. But House sponsor Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, told The Associated Press on Monday that the tab has been reduced to around $100,000.
He said every applicant won’t have to be verified because there are other processes in place to prove legal residence.
Sponsors say the intention is to make sure that individuals lawfully in Tennessee get the benefits first.

Note: The legislation contains multiple exemptions, many involving interrelation with federal laws, that lowered the fiscal note.

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