Mainers have wanted welfare reform for a long time. They know that the current system isn’t working for taxpayers, low-income families and, most importantly, for children at risk of hunger, homelessness and perpetual poverty.

There is no denying that Democrats and Republicans have different views about welfare and the reform of a broken system. But Mainers are tired of seeing the two sides fight while a broken system stays broken. They want their elected officials to find common ground and sensible reform that helps their neighbors get off welfare and back on their feet.

Sen. Nate Libby’s recent bill did just that. It recognized an area of agreement: Maine should ban the use of welfare dollars to buy products such as alcohol, tobacco and lottery tickets, to name a few. This was not a new idea for Sen. Libby, in fact, I recall well over a year ago that Sen. Libby took the charge to try and find meaningful reform that could survive the politics of Augusta.

Clearly, some in Augusta, on both sides of the aisle, were more invested in trying to score political points in a fight over welfare — at the expense of hardworking Mainers.

I thank Sen. Libby and each elected official who found common ground for that important legislation.

Mark Cayer, Lewiston


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