Paul LePage on Welfare & Poverty


Give people in need a hand up; don't give unneeded hand-outs

The state of Maine plans to reinstate work requirements for food stamp recipients, part of a broad effort by Republican Gov. Paul LePage (R) to reform what he has characterized as the state's unhealthy reliance on welfare.

Maine has for years taken advantage of a federal waiver of work requirements for food stamp recipients. [Now LePage's] policy change would affect an estimated 12,000 residents who collect roughly $15 million in benefits, paid for by the federal government.

"People who are in need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout,'' LePage said. "We must continue to do all that we can to eliminate generational poverty and get people back to work. We must protect our limited resources for those who are truly in need and who are doing all they can to be self-sufficient."

LePage has set his sights on broad welfare reform. This spring, he introduced a four-bill package aimed at reducing fraud in welfare payouts and encouraging job-seeking.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 Maine gubernatorial race , Jul 24, 2014

Maine grew at 0.8% if we discount federal welfare payments

LePage includes Social Security among 'welfare' programs. He also puts Medicare and jobless aid in that category while arguing that Maine's personal-income ranking would be better if such federal payments were excluded.

The federal data put Maine's personal-income growth at 0.5% in the first three months of 2014, well below the national rate of 0.8%. One of the biggest reasons cited for the low ranking was Maine's refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

LePage, however, said that Maine's net personal earnings increased by 0.8%. The governor arrived at his number by excluding what the federal bureau calls "personal current transfer receipts": payments from the federal government for Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits and Medicaid expansion. Maine is one of only four states (IN, TN and WY are the others) where transfer receipts declined this year. LePage said he chose not to follow the federal bureau's definition because it conceals welfare benefits.

Source: Portland Press Herald on 2014 Maine gubernatorial race , Jun 26, 2014

Maine's TANF welfare system is too generous

Gov. LePage announced that he will seek changes to the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in order to avoid millions of dollars in federal penalties that he said result from a welfare system that's too generous. Democrats said the problems in the TANF program are not new and that LePage is highlighting the issue now to bolster his image as a welfare reformer.

According to LePage, the state could be liable for up to $13 million in federal fines for not meeting national TANF guidelines from 2007 to 2010, though that amount can be reduced if Maine takes quick action. At issue is that the state did not meet federal requirements for the number of TANF recipients who were working while receiving benefits. "We must fix this Maine law in order to comply with federal law," said LePage. "Maine is overly generous in allowing a wide variety of exemptions from the work requirement, which are not recommended by the federal government, making it impossible to meet federal standards."

Source: Bangor Daily News on 2014 Maine gubernatorial race , Jan 3, 2014

End welfare-on-day-one: No instant eligibility for benefits

Maine is one of just a few places in the country that offers "welfare-on-day-one," for legal non-citizens. Our budget saves $20 million by eliminating instant eligibility for welfare benefits and sends the message that work and independence are what is expected of everyone in Maine. Our budget also includes a true five-year time limit on welfare eligibility and incentives to help move people from dependence to self-sustaining employment.
Source: Maine 2011 State of the State Address , Feb 10, 2011

Other governors on Welfare & Poverty: Paul LePage on other issues:
ME Gubernatorial:
Eliot Cutler
Michael Michaud
ME Senatorial:
Angus King
Scott D`Amboise
Susan Collins

Gubernatorial Debates 2014:
AL: Bentley(R) vs.Griffith(D)
AR: Ross(D) vs.Hutchinson(R) vs.Griffin(R,Lt.Gov.)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.DuVal(D) vs.Mealer(AE) vs.Gilbert(L) vs.Riggs(R)
CA: Brown(D) vs.Kashkari(R)
CO: Hickenlooper(D) vs.Beauprez(R) vs.Tancredo(R) vs.Hess(L)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Foley(R) vs.Walker(R,Lt.Gov.)
FL: Scott(R) vs.Crist(D) vs.Snitker(L,Lt.Gov.)
GA: Deal(R) vs.Carter(D) vs.Hunt(L)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Aiona(R) vs.Abercrombie(D)
IA: Branstad(R) vs.Hatch(D) vs.Hoefling(R)
MA: Coakley(D) vs.Baker(R) &Polito(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Grossman(D) vs.Berwick(D)
ME: LePage(R) vs.Michaud(D) vs.Cutler(I)
MI: Snyder(R) vs.Schauer(D)
NM: Martinez(R) vs.King(D)
NY: Cuomo(D) &Hochul(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Astorino(R) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Teachout(D)
OK: Fallin(R) vs.Dorman(D)
PA: Corbett(R) vs.Wolf(D) vs.Schwartz(D,lost primary) vs.Critz(D,Lt.Gov.,lost primary)
Newly-elected 2014:
AK-I: Bill Walker
AR-R: Asa Hutchinson
AZ-R: Doug Ducey
IL-R: Bruce Rauner
MA-R: Charlie Baker
MD-R: Larry Hogan
NE-R: Pete Ricketts
PA-D: Tom Wolf
RI-D: Gina Raimondo
TX-R: Greg Abbott

Up for re-election 2014:
AK-R: Sean Parnell
AL-R: Robert Bentley
CA-D: Jerry Brown
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
CT-D: Dan Malloy
FL-R: Rick Scott
GA-R: Nathan Deal
HI-D: Neil Abercrombie
IA-R: Terry Branstad
ID-R: Butch Otter
IL-D: Pat Quinn
KS-R: Sam Brownback
ME-R: Paul LePage
MI-R: Rick Snyder
MN-D: Mark Dayton
NH-D: Maggie Hassan
NM-R: Susana Martinez
NV-R: Brian Sandoval
NY-D: Andrew Cuomo
OH-R: John Kasich
OK-R: Mary Fallin
OR-D: John Kitzhaber
PA-R: Tom Corbett
SC-R: Nikki Haley
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
TN-R: Bill Haslam
VT-D: Peter Shumlin
WI-R: Scott Walker
WY-R: Matt Mead
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Term-Limited or Retiring 2014:
AR-D: Mike Beebe
AZ-R: Jan Brewer
MA-D: Deval Patrick
MD-D: Martin O'Malley
RI-I: Linc Chafee
TX-R: Rick Perry

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Page last updated: Nov 30, 2014