Legal Aid Group Questions New Maine Rules

Oct 1, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine  - The state's efforts to rewrite Maine's welfare-to-work rules are drawing critique from a legal aid group.

Maine Equal Justice Partners said some of the rules proposed by the state Department of Health and Human Services conflict with state and federal law. The group is urging the state to continue allowing recipients to reject jobs that would mean less cash for their families.

Maine is facing up to $29 million in federal penalties for not satisfying work participation standards from 2007 to 2014. The state's new proposed rules appear to eliminate work exemptions that GOP Gov. Paul LePage has long criticized.

The state doesn't typically comment on rulemaking. The DHHS has not yet released all comments on the proposed rules to The Associated Press, which filed a Freedom of Access request.