Legislator John Runkle has Chautauqua County on the right track. Instead of the constant complaining about state mandates, maybe the county needs to take a good look in the mirror when it comes to climbing Medicaid rates.
Runkle is a co-sponsor of a resolution to authorize the county Department of Social Services to create an action plan to increase welfare-to-work participation in Chautauqua County. The resolution is expected to come up at next week's Legislature meeting.
As noted in a March 30 Publisher's notebook, the welfare to work participation in this county is woeful. In December 2011, only 10 percent of those eligible for the program are participating, making welfare costs for that month more than $1.6 million. The state average for welfare to work participation is 34 percent.
Something is certainly wrong - and it is driving up welfare and Medicaid costs here. Medicaid, all county residents know, is what county leaders have consistently whined about for years.
But the welfare to work results, provided by the state, prove nowhere near enough effort is being put forth by county officials to fix the burden here.
This resolution is a good step. Let's hope that 10 percent number shows improvement sooner than later.