A budget amendment passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives this week requires the state's welfare department to launch a study on using biometrics to authenticate payments.House Minority Leader Brad Jones, a Republican, proposed the biometrics study for the the Department of Transitional Assistance and the Office of Health and Human Services, saying fingerprinting has saved state and county governments millions around the US.Texas and New Jersey already have contracts in place for biometric pilot programmes, he added.The proposal is part of a $15.4 million amendment assembled by the House Committee on Ways and Means that cleared the House on a 158-0 vote Tuesday afternoon.Under a separately adopted amendment, anyone applying to adopt a child or provide foster care with the Department of Children and Families would be required to undergo state and national fingerprint criminal history checks.In a similar initiative, North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services is studying the development of a biometric ID card which will allow people to use state-issued identity such as driver's licences to apply for benefit programmes.