Lawmakers Are Planning To Make It Much Tougher To Get On Welfare

Last week, Maine's Governor Paul LePage introduced a new bill designed to limit the number of people in his state receiving welfare payments.

Bangor Daily News reports the new law would change the requirements to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, specifically targeting people with repeated drug felonies and welfare frauds.

TANF gives cash payments to needy families, as well as Food Stamps (SNAP benefits) to people with low incomes or no income, but LePage says that the program needs some "common-sense reforms."


If the bill passes, it would make a number of changes to Maine's welfare program.

One of the biggest differences is the longest time families can receive TANF would shrink from 5 years to 3 years.

The new program would also require parents to be working to receive TANF, and cut off any families with more than $5,000 saved.

Plus, any family members with repeat drug felonies or households that comitted welfare fraud would be shut out of the program.

Talking Points Memo

At a news conference, LePage said that "an able-bodied, 30-year-old man without kids should not be able to collect food stamps.”

Since taking office in 2011 LePage has been aggressive about shrinking Maine's list of welfare recipients. Maine is one of just 13 states that where people on welfare can be tested for drugs.

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