Maine lawmakers take up welfare changes in budget

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A crowd of demonstrators filled a State House hall to protest Gov. Paul LePage's proposed cuts in welfare and MaineCare programs, changes the administration says are due in large part to the end of federal stimulus funding and added enrollments.

A couple of hundred demonstrators outside the governor's office chanted "Don't drop the baton," a plea not to abandon a safety net that's been constructed over the years to protect vulnerable Mainers.

LePage wants to freeze enrollment in MaineCare — the state's Medicaid program — for some recipients, impose time limits for Temporary Aid for Needy Families, eliminate coverage for legal non-citizens and make other changes.

Opponents say that would hurt children the most. They say many cuts would save money in the short term but cost more over time.

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Comments

Jim Cyr's picture

Welfare Budget

1/10 of 1%, I must live in under a rock to believe such nonsense!

 's picture

layabouts

gee, i heard this same old tired mantra when i worked for DHHS 45 years ago. true, about 1/10 of 1% per cent cheat the system in some way but cutting programs that will cost you more in the long run because you didn't investigate the program enough doesn't sound like saving money to me. if the people on drug rehab or in mental health shelters end up in jail or the emergency rooms more often - you didn't save money, you spent 10 times more. those programs are pretty cost effective and put people back on the street that can actually contribute to society but hospitals and jail time are just stop gap measures and the people that come out are no better than when they went in plus both cost way more than the solution that got cut out of the budget.
When i was 23, i thought all these problems had black and white solutions but now i know its a lot more complicated than that and to wade into the budget with a meat ax instead of some contemplation of what you're doing is going to cost a lot more in the long run. but, hey, "it's about the people of Maine"

 's picture

missing

too bad the former head of maine care won't be there to point out enrollment in that program actually decreased last year and money spent went down but that's what happens when you tell the truth in the Lepage administration. As he says " it's about the people" - the ones that agree with him that is.

Jim Cyr's picture

Maine Welfare Reform

What hurts children most, is "children having children"!

 's picture

Long overdue! Maine has

Long overdue! Maine has lagged behind in welfare reform to our own detrement.

GARY SAVARD's picture

For the many non-profits that

For the many non-profits that feed off of this endless entitlement stream, these cuts will hurt. This industry has grown to surpass paper making as a source of employment in Maine and is a close rival to tourism. Time to inject some sanity into the program. I agree that we need to take care of people that need help, but at the same time, we don't have to import them to maintain and grow the business of welfare services. A little seperation between career layabouts and the working class would be nice, if not PC to some.

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