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Bills Would Reform State General Assistance Program

AUGUSTA, Maine - A legislative committee will start to consider bills that would reform the state's general assistance program.

Maine towns each run a general assistance program that helps people lacking enough money to pay necessary expenses.

The state reimburses the towns and cities for 70 percent of such benefits. LePage's final two-year budget proposal would eliminate the $12.1 million program.

Six bills are scheduled for a hearing on Monday.

Republican Sen. Eric Brakey is sponsoring legislation that would create a 9-month time limit on general assistance benefits for individuals who can work and who don't have dependents.

Another bill he is sponsoring would bar general assistance for certain individuals who exhausted the 60-month limit on the state-and federally-funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.