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Rep. Fredette (left) and Rep. Willette (right).
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Maine House Republicans
Room 332, State House
2 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0002


Phone: (207) 287-1440

For Immediate Release

Date: 01/03/14

Statement of House GOP Leaders on Governor's Welfare Reform

Gov. LePage Friday warned of fed fines, proposed broader reform proposal

AUGUSTA - Governor Paul LePage on Friday alerted Republican and Democratic legislative leaders of the problem of Maine's low work participation rate among TANF welfare recipients. The low work participation rate means Maine is facing $10 million in fines from the federal government, and perhaps more. The Governor has proposed to broaden Rep. Fredette's original proposal that would eliminate certain exceptions in Maine law to the work search requirement.

"Now is the time to put politics aside and take the actions that Maine people expect of their leaders," said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette of Newport. "Defending the status quo and rejecting reform has very real consequences, and it is incumbent upon lawmakers of both parties to act to get our welfare system under control and avoid massive federal penalties."

"The work requirement exceptions written into Maine law completely circumvent the good intentions of the landmark 1996 federal welfare reform initiative and have resulted in our state falling well behind others in terms of limiting welfare dependence" added Fredette.

Assistant House Republican Leader Alex Willette of Mapleton agreed. "I am hoping that this news will finally motivate my friends across the aisle to do something to address Maine's broken welfare system."

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