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Cities Could Get Less General Assistance

| March 25, 2014


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Cities like Portland, Bangor and Lewiston could get less money from the state for their municipal welfare programs, under a proposal from Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

The Republican governor has introduced a bill to standardize the reimbursement rate at 50 percent across all cities for general assistance, the all-purpose welfare program run by cities and towns. Some cities currently get reimbursed for 90 percent of the costs if they reach a certain threshold.

LePage’s administration says that the amount the state pays municipalities for the program is unsustainable and that the proposal will save Maine $3.7 million.

But LePage’s past efforts to do so have faced opposition and failed in the Legislature. Cities say it will shift costs onto property taxpayers.

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday.

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