At a City Council hearing on how Michael Bloomberg’s budget will impact the Health and Human Services agency, its commissioner traded barbs with City Councilman Eric Gioia over the issue of “finger imaging” recipients in order to qualify for benefits.
Gioia said the program costs about $1 million annually, and acts as a “deterrent of humiliation” driving away countless New Yorkers.
Gioia Plays the Bush Card
Later, after the commissioner noted that the program is used in California and Texas, Gioia said, “Well, I’m sure Governor Bush in Texas, when he implemented it, had the same concerns you had about preventing fraud.”
After the exchange, Gioia left the hearing. Bill de Blasio, the chair of the hearing, who, like Gioia, is a declared candidate for Public Advocate, said, “Invoking Governor Bush, that’s a tall order.”
City Councilmen Peter Vallone Jr. of Queens and Jimmy Vacca of the Bronx both expressed support for the program saying, despite Gioia’s assertion, it does prevent fraud and is worth keeping.
Above: The Doorman shoveling it.