Governor: No Discussion of Welfare Expansion Until 3,100 Needy Mainers are Covered

June 3, 2013

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 3
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage issued a statement today about the Democrats’ efforts to expand welfare before they take care of the 3,100 disabled and elderly Mainers who are still on a waiting list for services in their homes and communities.

“I will not entertain any discussions about welfare expansion until these 3,100 disabled and elderly Mainers are taken care of,” the Governor said. “The Legislature has ignored the needs of these citizens for years, but now the Democrats want to expand welfare to able-bodied adults with no children. Not only is that bad public policy, it’s a disgrace.”

The Governor said his administration is still in negotiations with the federal government to get waivers that would allow the state to fix fraud and abuse within Maine’s welfare system. Welfare expansion would cost Maine millions of dollars annually if fraud and abuse in the existing system is not addressed.

“Until we crack down on the fraud and abuse that robs hard-working Mainers of their tax dollars, I will not discuss any efforts to expand welfare,” the Governor said. “We do not need to burden hard-working taxpayers with additional costs for those who are not disabled. The Democrats have to stop discriminating against the disabled and elderly and treat them fairly.”