Legislation requiring a private company to review Missouri's welfare rolls is moving forward in the Legislature.

On Thursday the House passed a bill 129-27, and the Senate in a voice vote gave initial approval to its version of the proposal.

The measures would require the state to hire a company to check people's eligibility for programs such as food stamps. The company would flag cases for state employees to investigate.

Supporters say the policy change could save money by eliminating waste and fraud.

The bills have bipartisan support, although some Democrats have said the Legislature should instead pay state employees to do the work.

The Department of Social Services has already issued a request for proposals to start the process of finding a private company with which to partner.

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