Statement of Maine Governor LePage on Welfare Reform Bills

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released a statement earlier this week about the party-line votes to kill his welfare reform bills, which would have required applicants to look for work and would have prevented fraud and abuse of cash benefits from EBT cards.

“It is incomprehensible that Democrats on the Health and Human Services Committee would vote to reject these common-sense proposals,” said Governor LePage. “I am the first one in line to help someone in need, but I don’t want to be taken advantage of and neither do hard-working Mainers. These liberal politicians would rather see welfare cash benefits, which are provided by struggling Maine taxpayers, go out of state than to keep that money in Maine.”

“They prefer to automatically hand out welfare benefits to anyone who applies, instead of simply asking them to look for work first. This is outrageous. Mainers don’t mind providing a hand up, but they expect applicants to try to get a job before asking the taxpayers for welfare.” The Health and Human Services Committee voted strictly along party lines, on both LD 1815 and LD 1820, 7-5.

The committee was expected to consider two more of the Governor's welfare reform bills, LD 1822, which would prohibit the use of welfare funds on tobacco, liquor, gambling, and bail; and LD 1842, which would eliminate exceptions to the federal work search requirement for TANF recipients. Both bills were expected to be voted on late Wednesday.


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