Maine welfare reform is dead. It died from lack of Dirigo spirit by elected officials.

Sadly, liberals want people to believe that conservatives want to entirely gut welfare; and conservatives want people to believe liberals want to spend more. The truth is somewhere closer to the middle, but given the rhetoric and polar opposite views, it is likely nothing will be done in the near future with regard to true welfare reform.

Maine needs leaders who are willing to define what welfare reform truly looks like and then have the fortitude to actually move forward with a plan. Reform may include new services and it may include cuts, but if leadership cannot agree on a definition or parameters, how is change going to happen?

On multiple occasions, I have spoken to and written the governor’s office and my legislative delegation with thoughts based on my 30 years working in health care, but those thoughts seem to fall on deaf ears. The Legislature spends thousands of dollars on professional reports and analyses that provide everything they need, only to allow those concepts to collect dust on a shelf.

I urge the governor and the Maine Legislature to consider an outside liaison position working with their offices and the Department of Health and Human Services to provide data and reporting, and to assist with legislation that truly addresses welfare in a way that is best for all Mainers.

Put forth meaningful reform, and reform not only the product but the administration as well.

Robert Reed, Lewiston

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.