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Welfare Overhaul

| March 24, 2014


AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Maine Gov. Paul LePage says the state must crack down on welfare fraud and misuse to ensure that those who truly need it are getting the help they need.

Among the several new proposals Republican governor outlined Monday would prohibit Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program benefits from being used to buy tobacco, alcohol or lottery tickets. Another proposal would ban the use of electronic benefits transfer cards outside of Maine.

The measures are already coming under fire from Democrats and advocates for the poor. Democrats say they’re willing to consider ways to root out fraud and abuse, but oppose the proposal to eliminate a program that helps low-income parents enrolled in two-or-four-year colleges.

Republican lawmakers are urging Democrats to give the bills a chance this session.

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