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Maine Lawmakers Vote Down Municipal Welfare Bill

| April 7, 2014

Welfare II

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine lawmakers have rejected Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to reduce the amount of money the state refunds some cities to run their welfare programs.

The Senate voted 22-12 on Monday to kill the bill introduced by the Republican governor. It failed in the House last week.

The bill would have standardized the reimbursement rate at 50 percent across all cities for general assistance, the all-purpose welfare program run by cities and towns. Some cities, like Portland and Bangor, currently get reimbursed for 90 percent of the costs if they reach a certain threshold.

LePage’s administration says the amount the state pays municipalities is unsustainable. The administration estimated that the measure could save Maine $3.7 million.

But critics said it would merely have shifted that cost onto property taxpayers.

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