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Gov. LePage Rolls Out Bill to Address the 'Welfare Cliff'

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage is promoting a bill that seeks to fix a problem in the welfare system that can discourage recipients from accepting a raise or working more hours.

The bill that LePage outlined Tuesday seeks to smooth out the so-called "welfare cliff'' by ensuring recipients don't immediately lose all of their benefits once they begin to work and meet a certain income threshold.

Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine has introduced a similar bill.

LePage acknowledged that it's unusual for both parties to get behind the same idea. He said he's confident that some proposal to address this issue will pass this session.

But the details of the two bills differ greatly and Maine Equal Justice Partners, which is backing Gattine's bill, says it has concerns with LePage's proposal.