welfare

Patty Wight / Maine Public

The LePage administration wants to require people who receive Medicaid to work or volunteer in order to receive health care. The state imposed a similar requirement for food stamps a few years ago. The administration touts it as a pathway out of poverty, while others call it a roadblock.

Maine Governor: No More Welfare for Those With Drug Felonies

Jan 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor wants to abandon drug testing for some welfare recipients.
 
Instead, Gov. Paul LePage simply wants to make people convicted of a felony drug offense after 1996 ineligible to receive cash assistance and food stamps.
 
The idea is within the governor's 230-page budget proposal, and comes as Maine legalizes recreational marijuana. The governor's proposal is getting pushback from advocates for low-income individuals, who say it's erroneous to assume everyone with a felony conviction is a serious drug offender.
 

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Federal documents indicate Maine didn't formally ask about the legality of transferring $13.4 million in federal funds for needy kids until after it had reversed course and replenished the money.

Maine's Democratic state auditor chastised the Department of Health and Human Services for improperly transferring funding for low-income children to elderly programming.

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.

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
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.

By Marina Villeneuve, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration is proposing a re-write of its welfare-to-work manual to raise expectations for welfare recipients seeking jobs.

The rules would say job training participants can't reject job offers unless they pay less than minimum wage - a change that follows approaches in states like California and Pennsylvania. But the rules also ease up some requirements, including increasing assistance for auto repairs and books and supplies.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew at a State House event on February 26, 2014.
MPBN File Photo

The LePage administration says it's scouring its welfare rolls to ferret out fraud and abuse by immigrants, and to ensure taxpayer money isn't flowing to would-be terrorists.

Ben Chin unity rally in Lewiston, Maine.
MPBN/Patty Wight

The runoff election in the hotly contested Lewiston mayoral race is next Tuesday. Democrat Ben Chin will face off against incumbent Republican mayor Robert Macdonald.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has long opposed using state assistance for a group of people he often mischaracterizes as "illegal aliens." And during a town hall meeting Tuesday night in Bucksport, the governor offered up another example of what he says is welfare fraud being committed by a noncitizen.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A Maine mayor's idea of creating an online registry for welfare recipients is dead for now because he couldn't find a legislative sponsor.
 
Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald approached Sen. Eric Brakey about the idea, but the GOP lawmaker declined to introduce a bill by Friday's deadline for proposed bill titles for legislation to be considered in January.
 
No one in the Republican House or Senate caucuses submitted a bill either, and Gov. Paul LePage's communications staff says he has no plans for such a bill, either.
 

LEWISTON, Maine - Lewiston's mayor wants to create an online registry of Maine residents who receive welfare benefits.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Republican Mayor Robert Macdonald wrote in a column in the Twin City Times that if the public can find out information about public pensions, they should be able to do the same for welfare recipients.

AUGUSTA, Maine - In the first three months of a drug testing program for welfare recipients, enacted under the LePage administration, only 15 people have met criteria for screening.  The numbers were revealed in a Freedom of Access request by The Associated Press.

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Few welfare recipients in Maine have been called in for drug screenings so far under new rules touted by Republican Gov. Paul LePage.

The state began in April to administer drug-screening assessments to recipients in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program who've been convicted of a drug-related felony. People who fail are required to submit to a urinalysis.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Democrats and some Republicans have united to reject the bulk of Gov. Paul LePage's welfare reform initiatives. Many of the proposals are positioned to die between the two bodies in the closing hours of the legislative session.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican Gov. Paul LePage's latest effort to overhaul Maine's welfare programs appears to be headed for defeat.

LePage's bill, introduced by Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau, was rejected by the Democratic-controlled House with a 76-68 vote late Monday. The Republican-led Senate had already approved the bill.

The disagreement between the two chambers means the bill will likely die.

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