Bill To Help Low-Income Maine Parents Pay Higher Ed Costs Becomes Law

Apr 17, 2018

Some low-income parents in Maine could soon get help paying for higher education costs. 

The $2.1 million bill became law Tuesday after receiving broad bipartisan support, although it went unsigned by Gov. Paul LePage.

As a result, parents in households earning 185 percent or less of the federal poverty level - or $46,000 a year for a family of four - could receive funds to pay for post-secondary education programs in specific fields, such as health care, technology and engineering.

Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon introduced the bill, saying it's designed to help employers address a shortage of workers in certain fields while also providing low-income families a path from poverty to stable, good-paying jobs.

The program is limited to 500 participants per year and is funded for three years through a federal block grant.