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Republicans hold a May press conference to urge payment of Maine's welfare debt to its hospitals.
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For Immediate Release

Date: 09/10/13

GOP Leaders Praise Latest News on Welfare Reforms

Call for continued action to heighten oversight, rein in welfare spending

AUGUSTA - Maine House Republican leaders on Tuesday lauded the latest news from the Governor's Office on state government's increased vigilance over fraud and abuse within Maine's generous welfare programs.

"The latest news on our welfare reforms is further proof that Maine's welfare system was in dire need of accountability," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Thankfully, we are now starting to see less welfare dependency and more aggressive prosecution of fraud and abuse. There's still a long way to go, as welfare spending remains a major obstacle to balancing the state budget every year. But we're on the right track toward a less dependent, more prosperous, and more fiscally healthy Maine."

Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton agreed, pointing to this month's hospital payments as a warning sign against future welfare expansions.

"As state government finally pays its long-overdue welfare bills to Maine's hospitals this month, we must remember how we got to this point," he said. "Promises of 'free' health care took the form of massive cost overruns, with state government ignoring its debts to Maine employers. Democrats must learn from their mistakes and try the different approach laid out by Governor LePage and Republican lawmakers."

The Republican leaders added that even though many sensible welfare reform proposals were rejected by the Democratic legislative majority this year, they intend to continue to try to persuade their colleagues across the aisle that Maine's budget and economy can't afford the welfare system's status quo, and that the generosity of Maine taxpayers should not be abused.

"Democrats have been reluctant over the years to join us in reforming Maine's welfare system, but now the evidence is clear that reforms are working and that Maine can't afford to reverse course," added Fredette.

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David Sorensen
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 205-7793